Pressure on the coalition government to reverse its decision to scrap the low income superannuation contribution (LISC) is growing from two campaigns to preserve the annual award to those earning under $37,000 a year.
Women in Super through its website www.keepsuperfair.com.au has helped 13,000 people send messages of protest to their senators. This campaign estimates 3.6 million workers earning up to $37,000 will end up paying more tax from their super than their take home pay and miss out on a super rebate worth up to $500 a year. This includes two million working women – around half of the female workforce, 40 per cent of the rural population and 70 per cent of the part-time workforce.
HESTA has run a separate campaign with help from the PR firm Porter Novelli that has identified 24 of the 25 electorates most impacted by the change are in rural areas. Anne-Marie Corboy, chief executive of HESTA as well as deputy chief executive Debby Blakey have been interviewed for newspapers and radio stations covering the regions and these electorates, which is expected to put pressure on the National Party to address the issue over the next month.
HESTA estimates ending the LISC will impact more than 280,000 of its members, cutting the amount they could have at retirement by up to $27,000.
Cate Wood, national chair of Women in Super is waiting feedback from a letter sent to Clive Palmer last week asking for the support of the Palmer United Party in their campaign. Advisers to the Palmer United Party have been told of the campaign and Wood said Palmer himself would now be aware of it.
More than 30 prominent signatories from the superannuation industry, business, academia, women’s organisations and policy and community groups have signed the letter calling on Palmer to help save the LISC.
The signatories are asking Palmer United Party senators to vote against the Minerals Resource Rent Tax repeal bill unless the LISC is removed.
Wood said her campaign had not got clarity yet on whether the government planned to scrap the payment due at the end of financial year for 2014 or whether this would apply to 2015.