Browsing articles in "Media Releases"
Jul 1, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

ABBOTT’S SUPERANNUATION FREEZE STARTS TODAY

More than 8.4 million Australians will receive additional money in their superannuation accounts from today thanks to Labor’s increase to the Super Guarantee.

 

But today’s rise in the superannuation guarantee to 9.5 per cent will be the last increase workers see until 2018 – because Tony Abbott has frozen superannuation increases for the next four years.

 

As a result of the Abbott Government’s superannuation freeze, the superannuation guarantee will now not reach the full 12 per cent until 1 July 2022, a full three years after it would have under Labor.

 

Despite promising “no adverse unexpected changes to superannuation” before the election, since being elected Tony Abbott has announced two freezes to the increase of the superannuation guarantee. The second was announced just weeks ago in Tony Abbott’s unfair and unaffordable Budget.

 

Industry estimates the Abbott Government’s first superannuation freeze alone will mean approximately $40 billion less in Australian superannuation accounts by 2023 – this figure does not include the impact of the second pause.

 

These hits to the super balances of millions of Australians are coming from a Prime Minister who said “we have always as a Coalition been against compulsory superannuation increases.”

 

[Tony Abbott – Press Conference – 23 March 2012]

 

Today’s freeze comes on top of the Tony Abbott cutting the Low Income Superannuation Contribution – which will see super tax increase by up to $500 a year for 3.6 million low income Australians earning $37,000 or less, including 2.1 million women.

 

Tony Abbott has cut pensions, he’s cut assistance for seniors – now he’s cutting the superannuation savings of every working Australian.

 

Australians will receive less in their superannuation accounts every single day they work because of Tony Abbott.

 

Superannuation contributes significantly to national savings, employment, financial stability and economic growth and takes the pressure off the Age Pension.

 

Labor created universal superannuation, we have grown it, supported it and we will always fight for it.

 

What Tony Abbott’s superannuation freeze will mean for Australians:

 

Year

SG charge percentage

Labor

Coalition

Year Commencing 1 July 2013

9.25

9.25

Year Commencing 1 July 2014

9.5

9.5

Year Commencing 1 July 2015

10

9.5

Year Commencing 1 July 2016

10.5

9.5

Year Commencing 1 July 2017

11

9.5

Year Commencing 1 July 2018

11.5

10

Year Commencing 1 July 2019

12

10.5

Year Commencing 1 July 2020

12

11

Year Commencing 1 July 2021

12

11.5

Years starting on or after 1 July 2022

12

12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TUESDAY, 1 JULY 2014

 

MEDIA CONTACT:          LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053

                                      CHRIS RAMSAY 0430 009 434 (RIPOLL)

 

Jul 1, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

STATEMENT ON THE FIRST BIRTHDAY OF THE NATIONAL DISABILITY INSURANCE SCHEME

Today marks the first birthday of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, one of the greatest social reforms of our generation.

 

Labor would like to congratulate everyone who has worked so tirelessly to get this ground-breaking reform off the ground.

 

Because of your hard work, one year on the NDIS is transforming the lives of people with disability every single day.

 

For the first time in our nation’s history, people with disability are getting the care and support they need to live the lives they deserve.

 

For too long, people with disability have been treated like second class citizens.

 

Because of the NDIS, that is now changing.

 

The NDIS is a transformative reform for people with disability, their carers and families.

 

It is also transformative for our national economy, as new opportunities for work and participation open up for people with disability and their carers.

 

Labor is proud to have been the party that delivered this life changing reform.

 

And we are proud to have been able to deliver it through the parliament with bipartisan support.

 

For people with disability, their carers and families and all those people involved in the development of the NDIS, you can rest assured that you will always have the support of the Australian Labor Party.

We look forward to working with you to see this reform grow.

 

Tony Abbott must re-commit to funding the rollout of the NDIS on time and in full, as promised.  Any cap, cut or delay to the scheme will be a devastating broken promise  to hundreds of thousands of people with disability.

TUESDAY, 1 JULY 2014

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:        LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053

CATHERINE CHARLESON 0419987947

Jun 30, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

LABOR TO FIGHT UNFAIR CHILD CARE CUTS

Opposition Leader and Member for Maribyrnong Bill Shorten and Shadow Minister for Education and Early Childhood Kate Ellis today visited the Jindi Woraback Children’s Centre in St Albans, to launch a new national campaign against the Abbott Government’s cuts to child care assistance.

Mr Shorten and Ms Ellis met with local staff and parents to discuss the impact of the Abbott Government’s plan to freeze the income thresholds for the Child Care Benefit.

“The Child Care Benefit is means-tested and assists thousands of local low and middle income families with the cost of child care,” Mr Shorten said.

“This is in complete contrast to the Abbott Government’s unfair and unaffordable Paid Parental Leave scheme which isn’t properly targeted.”

“Under the Abbott Government’s cuts, Brimbank families earning as little as $42,000 a year will be hit.”

Mr Shorten said that Early Childhood Australia modelling suggests that in some cases, families will have to pay between $3,000 and $5,000 extra because of these cuts.

“This is yet another attack on Brimbank families already feeling the pain of the Abbott Government’s GP tax, petrol tax and cuts to family assistance,” he said.

To take a stand against Tony Abbott’s cuts to child care, sign the petition here: www.alp.org.au/targetedchildcarecuts

ENDS

Jun 30, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

NATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO UNITE AGAINST ABBOTT’S CHILD CARE CUTS

Labor will today launch a new national campaign against the Abbott Government’s cuts to child care assistance, writing directly to more than 14,000 child care centres and services to urge them to speak up and stop these cruel cuts.

 

The Abbott Government has introduced legislation with the sole purpose of cutting the Child Care Benefit, which more than 80 per cent of Australian families who use child care rely on. The Education Department estimates this will leave more than 500,000 families worse off.

 

This will hit families earning as little as $42,000 a year. Early Childhood Australia modelling suggests some of the lowest income families will have to pay between $3,000 and $5,000 extra because of these cuts.

 

This is unprecedented – no previous Government has ever moved to cut the Child Care Benefit.

 

These cruel and unfair cuts will hurt families who can least afford it.

 

These child care cuts are imminent but not unstoppable. Every family, every child care provider, every educator, everyone who cares about decent access to affordable child care has the chance to make their voice heard.

 

What sort of government will make families on low and middle incomes pay up to $5,000 a year extra for child care – at the same time as giving $50,000 to wealthy families to have a baby?

 

These latest cuts will mean over $1 billion in child care support has been cut by this government since it came to office – including cuts to outside school hours care, family day care, the Child Care Rebate, the Child Care Benefit, Indigenous child and family centres, qualifications and professional development support for educators among other cuts.

 

This is another attack on the most vulnerable in our community who are already feeling the pain of Tony Abbott’s cruel budget through the new petrol tax, cuts to family assistance and the GP tax.

 

A single income family with two children earning $65,000 a year will be more than $6,000 a year worse off because of Tony Abbott’s unfair budget.

 

To take a stand against Tony Abbott’s cuts to child care, sign the petition here:

 

www.alp.org.au/targetedchildcarecuts

 

 

MONDAY, 30 JUNE 2014

 

MEDIA CONTACT:     LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053

                                 HANNAH MACLEOD 0437 526 210 (ELLIS)

 

Jun 27, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

RAMADAN

 

On behalf of the Australian Labor Party, we extend our best wishes to Australia’s Islamic community on the auspicious occasion of the holy month of Ramadan.

 

Ramadan is a time of reflection, charity and discipline. It is also a time for Muslims to unite and celebrate the good in one another, and for non-Muslims to join with their fellow citizens in respect of this month-long spiritual journey of sacrifice and service.

 

During Ramadan, all Australians can reflect on the valuable contribution the Muslim community has made to our national character.

 

The Islamic story in Australia has a rich history, and grows stronger each year. Australia’s Muslim community has done a great service in fostering an enduring cultural and religious harmony, and making a substantial contribution to our national prosperity.

 

May Ramadan be one of peace, prosperity and purity for you all.

 

May Allah accept your fasting and good deeds, and reward you and your families with an abundance of blessings.

 

And may this holy month remind all Australians of the miracle of our modern, multicultural Australia.

 

We wish all Muslim brothers and sisters Ramadan Kareem and Ramadan Mubarak.

 

 

FRIDAY, 27 JUNE 2014

 

MEDIA CONTACT:     LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053

                                  NICK TRAINOR 0407 078 138 (ROWLAND)

 

 

 

Jun 26, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

LABOR WILL FIGHT ABBOTT GOVERNMENT’S WAR ON SCIENCE

 

Labor will fight the Abbott Government’s extraordinary war on science as CSIRO workers today hold a national day of protest against the Abbott Government’s savage budget cuts to science.

We say to Australia’s dedicated scientists and researchers – you are not alone, Labor is with you in this fight.

 

What the Abbott Government is doing to science goes beyond neglect. It goes beyond this government having dispensed with a Science Minister.

 

It reveals a government that doesn’t respect science and innovation, and doesn’t respect these experts.

 

The scale of the funding cuts to CSIRO and other science agencies, the potential trebling of the cost of a science degree, and the attitudes that drive this government amount to an extraordinary attack on science.

 

The Abbott Government has cut $878 million from science and research agencies, including almost $115 million from CSIRO.

 

Nearly 900 scientists will lose their jobs – at least 500 jobs will go at CSIRO, 96 at Geoscience Australia, 64 at the ANSTO and 58 at the Bureau of Meteorology.

 

The Government says it wants to find a cure for cancer. How does it propose to do that – or to deal with any of the other great challenges that confront us, whether in health, agriculture or energy – by sacking scientists?

 

This government treats scientists as rent seekers, living off the taxpayer – They do not understand that Australia’s intellectual capital is as important as its resource base.

 

Science is central to the current and future prosperity of our nation, to our intellectual vigour and rigour, and to our understanding of the world we live in.

 

Tony Abbott’s attack on science funding shows yet again that he doesn’t accept the science of climate change.

 

The Prime Minister infamously declared that climate change was ‘absolute crap’, and it’s clear he hasn’t changed his view.

 

Tony Abbott has no credible plan to tackle pollution, and he is leaving Australia behind in the race to create the jobs of the future.

 

Labor values the work of the CSIRO and Australia’s researchers and we’ll keep fighting for them.

 

THURSDAY, 26 JUNE 2014

 

MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053

Jun 24, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

APPOINMENTS TO THE LABOR MINISTRY

APPOINMENTS TO THE LABOR MINISTRY

 

Today, I announce changes to Labor’s Shadow Executive.

 

Labor has a strong team that is holding the Abbott Government to account for its broken promises and I’m confident the appointments I announce today will make it even stronger.

 

The appointments to the Shadow Executive are due to the expiry of the Senate terms of six Labor Senators on 30 June.

 

Hon David Feeney MP will add Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Shadow Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC to his current responsibilities as Shadow Minister for Justice and Shadow Assistant Minister for Defence.

 

Shadow Minister for Agriculture the Hon Joel Fitzgibbon MP will have Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs added to his responsibilities.

 

Hon Amanda Rishworth MP will be appointed Shadow Assistant Minister for Education and Shadow Assistant Minister for Higher Education.

 

Senator the Hon Lisa Singh will be appointed Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Water.

 

Graham Perrett MP will be appointed Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Attorney-General.

 

Nick Champion MP will be appointed Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Health.

 

Today, we farewelled valued members of the Labor Caucus – President of the Senate Senator the Hon John Hogg, Senator the Hon Don Farrell, Senator Louise Pratt, Senator Lin Thorp, Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens, Senator Mehmet Tillem, Senator Mark Furner and Senator Mark Bishop.

 

As I told Caucus today, each and every one of these Senators have helped write a chapter in the Labor story – the story of helping people, of lifting them up, of building a better, fairer nation.

 

All of these men and women will continue to contribute to the life of our nation beyond these walls – and we wish them well in the future.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053

 

 

Jun 18, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

Respons to Age editorial

I read with some interest the editorial in The Age on Wednesday. I certainly can’t disagree that the Coalition has made a poor start to government. Like all Australians, I’ve witnessed a failure of leadership on too many fronts. I’ve seen the policy hypocrisy and the internal divisions – and I’ve been as shocked as anyone by the cruelty that underpins the Prime Minister’s first budget.

But, perhaps unsurprisingly, I can’t agree that Labor is “staying under the radar”. The Age is absolutely correct that the opposition has a big challenge ahead of it. Labor will continue to be passionate but responsible opposition – ferocious in our attack on the Prime Minister’s policy failures, but always ready to work together in the national interest.

 

What we will never do is be mere spectators as Tony Abbott tries to take our country backwards and wreck our fair society. Some might call that negativity – but I call it doing my job, and I don’t think The Age’s readers would expect anything less from me. Labor will keep fighting Tony Abbott’s $7 GP tax because it is nothing other than the destruction of universal healthcare as we know it.

 

Four decades ago, the sick and the vulnerable were being let down or left out of a hopelessly inadequate health system – so Labor built Medibank. We became the first developed country in the world to introduce a universal health insurance scheme. A few years later, the Liberals made sure we were the first in the world to dismantle it.

 

After the Liberals destroyed Medibank, Labor built Medicare. Thirty years later, history is on the cusp of repeating. Medicare was brave and visionary policy in the finest Labor tradition. It stands alongside the minimum wage and the old age pension as a social reform that embodies the best ideals of Australian fairness. We’ve seen the Liberals destroy it once before, and we won’t let them do it again.

 

Like his GP tax, we will fight the Prime Minister’s retrograde changes to our universities. We’re doing this because his changes – increasing student fees and student debts – pull apart the very notion of an equitable society, and they short-change our future. If we want our kids to get meaningful and well-paid jobs in a globalised and competitive world, they need the chance to get a good education. The Prime Minister says these changes are just “deregulation”, but in reality they lock the gate on our best universities, and shut out kids from poorer backgrounds. Once again under the Liberals, higher education will be a privilege for the wealthy few, not a birthright for all Australians.

 

Labor will oppose this government’s attempt to cut the already modest age pension, because we don’t think it is beyond the capacity of a wealthy and generous nation like ours to provide security and dignity to its citizens in retirement.

 

And we will stand up to the Prime Minister’s attempt to push young unemployed people off social security and into the margins of society – possibly the cruellest of all the cruel measures in this budget. It is shameful that Tony Abbott’s response to this youth unemployment crisis is to condemn jobless young Australians to poverty and despair. It is a bleak, heartless policy that shows he doesn’t understand the crushing emptiness of long-term unemployment. All this policy will do is turn the middle-class into the under-class, and Labor won’t support it to.

 

Labor is fighting this budget because it is unconscionably unfair. Underpinning it all is the cold reality that that the Prime Minister doesn’t see Australia in the same way that most of us do. When we look at Medicare, an equitable university system and a reasonable social safety net, we see the pillars of fairness that have helped build our strong society. The Liberals just see the cost, not the value.

 

There is plenty in this budget to fight – and we’ll keep fighting it because that’s what Australians need us to do. But I know Labor needs to do more than oppose. And I’m not like Tony Abbott – I’m not an ideological warrior. When there’s a sensible idea, I’ll sign up to it. Our task is to offer a better alternative – and it’s a task we’ve begun with vigour.

 

We know we can’t win the 2016 election with the policies from 2013. That’s why Labor’s shadow cabinet – in consultation with our colleagues, rank and file members and policy experts – has started developing a positive vision for Australia’s future. And we are rebuilding Labor to make sure our party is as modern, democratic and outward-looking as we want our country to be.

 

As I said at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne earlier this year, Australia has always been at its best when we are pushing the boundaries. With Medicare, with higher education, with superannuation and with the national disability insurance scheme – it has always been Labor that has fought and won the big policy contests to keep building our decent and fair society.

 

That contest is as important now as it’s ever been before. At stake is the kind of country we want to be – Tony Abbott’s sterile view of a colder, meaner Australia, or an Australia where hard work is rewarded, and those who need our help aren’t ignored.

 

That’s our challenge – and Labor is up for it.

 

This piece was published by Fairfax on Thursday, 19 June 2014.
MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053

Jun 16, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

ABBOTT WIPES FLOOR WITH CLEANERS’ PAY

ABBOTT WIPES FLOOR WITH CLEANERS’ PAY


Prime Minister Tony Abbott has this afternoon deliberately deceived low-paid cleaners with false hope that his Government won’t cut their wages.

 

As hundreds of Australia’s lowest paid workers gathered in Canberra to recognise International Cleaners’ Day, Mr Abbott used Question Time to wipe the floor with their future.

 

Mr Abbott said:

 

“I want to make it absolutely crystal clear that no cleaner’s pay is reduced. No cleaner’s pay is reduced.”

 

TONY ABBOTT – QUESTION TIME – 16 JUNE 2014

 

The Prime Minister knows that is a lie – because his Government is axing vital cleaning industry guidelines that will see cleaners lose thousands of dollars a year from their pay packets.

 

The Commonwealth Cleaning Services Guidelines, which regulate minimum pay and conditions for cleaners, will be abolished on 30 June this year as part of Mr Abbott’s red tape stunt.

 

The guidelines apply to cleaners working for Australian Government agencies and contractors.

 

As a result, cleaners stand to face a pay cut of $22 an hour to $17 an hour.

 

The axing of the guidelines will see many cleaners shifted to the existing industry award and its reduced pay rates – losing up to $170 every week in pay.

 

Tony Abbott’s unfair Budget already targets low and middle income earners – these disgraceful cuts will hit Australian cleaners already doing it tough.

MONDAY, 16 JUNE 2014

MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053

Jun 16, 2014
Kieran Barns-Jenkins

TONY ABBOTT DECEIVES CARERS ON BUDGET CUTS

TONY ABBOTT DECEIVES CARERS ON BUDGET CUTS

 

This afternoon, Prime Minister Tony Abbott told the House of Representatives that his unfair Budget cuts would not impact carers.

 

In Question Time today, the Prime Minister said:

 

“There are no changes, there are no changes to carers as a result of the Budget.”

Tony Abbott – Question Time – 16 June 2014

 

This is wrong.

 

Tony Abbott’s Budget cuts to the Carers Payment, with indexation to be reduced to CPI, rather than the more generous MTAWE rate.

 

This is clearly written on page 203 of the Prime Minister’s own Budget:

 

According to ACOSS, this change will leave people on the Carers Payment around $80 a week worse off within a decade.

 

Carers make incredible sacrifices and a priceless contribution to our community – they should be recognised for their remarkable efforts, not lied to by the Prime Minister.

 

Carers are some of the most remarkable people in this country and it is a disgrace the Abbott Government is cutting their payments.

 

There is no low to which this government won’t stoop – it would rather cut payments to pensioners and carers than scrap its unfair plans to give $50,000 to millionaires to have a baby.

 

MONDAY, 16 JUNE 2014

 

MEDIA CONTACT:  LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053

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