We shouldn’t accept the idea that this is a big slug on business, because it’s really something people won’t get in wages, they’re getting in super instead. And they won’t get access to it until they retire. I agree that 12 per cent is appropriate. I originally supported going to 15 per cent but when I look at the replacement incomes that people get, that the lower income people get, relative to what they get while they’re still working, the very bottom end of the market are working poor, and taking 6 per cent of their remuneration into super rather than 3 per cent just takes it a bit too far. I think to get adequacy, a bit of encouragement is also a good thing. And we’ve got that, for additional voluntary contributions, even if they are capped. So I think that’s a reasonable position, 12 per cent and something we should all applaud. I take Garry’s points about the mining industry. I mean, about 10 per cent of the assets of the average super fund are actually mining shares, so that’s a significant part, and we don’t want to be at war with the mining industry. I think the markets are overreacting as they usually do. But I need to do some more work to figure out just how much they should’ve reacted.
Don Russell (chair, State Super NSW and State Super Financial Services): I think we need to remember where we were 12 months ago. Twelve months ago we were locked into a debate which was really around ‘9 per cent is enough’. And that was the view of Henry at that stage. But it was also in the context of a set of recommendations, which was that we should move the preservation age from 60 to 67, and it was also in the context of the budget decision to cut the caps back to $25,000. So the industry really was reeling 12 months ago. People genuinely thought that maybe super wasn’t the place to accumulate retirement wealth, and there was a bit question mark as to whether the system itself would survive. So we’ve come a long way in 12 months.
I’m just saying good ideas drive out bad ideas, and the fact that we’ve now, notwithstanding the Henry recommendations, we’ve now got 12 [per cent] on the table, I think that’s a very dramatic change, of enormous significance, and I think if you just stand back and think about it, we’re going to have a system – not immediately – but we’re going to end up with a system where 12 per cent of people’s income is going to be compulsorily put aside – this has to make a major macro difference to the way this country operates, to have that great slab out of income, which presumably would have gone into consumption to a large degree, is now going to be shoved away and will underpin what is going to be a major investment surge of this country. So the whole place has to be in better shape because of what’s been done, and that’s all been done in 12 months. Michael Bailey (editor, Investment Magazine): So anybody still in the mood to lobby for 15 per cent? Anne-Marie Corboy (CEO, HESTA): I think the 12 per cent was a really bold move by the Government, very bold.