Superannuation changes to hit voters in Nationals' turf hard
A RAFT of electorates controlled by the Coalition's junior party will be among those worst-hit by the removal of a low-income superannuation contribution, new research shows.
Analysis of 2011 Census data by The Australia Institute has found electorates across northern New South Wales and regional Queensland will be those most affected by the changes.
The contribution would have added $500 to the superannuation on Australians earning less than $37,000, but the Abbott Government will ditch the contribution under plans to scrap the mining tax.
More than 22,000 people in Cowper, Page, Richmond, Wide Bay and Maranoa will miss out, while almost 20,000 people will miss out in Hinkler.
Institute executive director Dr Richard Denniss said abolishing the contribution would affect "millions of people across Australia".
"What is baffling is that the Liberal Party holds no regard for constituents living and working in electorates held by their friends in the National Party," he said.
"Why are disadvantaged Australians, overwhelmingly in rural and regional areas, being punished because of the Coalition's obsession with scrapping the mining tax?"
But Assistant Employment Minister Luke Hartsuyker, who holds the New South Wales seat of Cowper, said a strong economy was the best way to increase superannuation.
"Over the past five years Labor increased taxes on superannuation by almost $9 billion and cut super benefits for lower income earners by more than $3.3 billion," he said.
"The Low Income Superannuation Contribution was meant to be paid for with revenue from the mining tax."
But Mr Hartsuyker said because the tax had failed to raise the expected revenue, the Coalition "is axing the mining tax and all the expenditure which Labor attached to it".
He said by abolishing the tax, cutting red tape and investing in infrastructure, the government planned to grow the economy.
"The Coalition will also implement a number of employment initiatives, including the Job Commitment Bonus for long-term young unemployed, the Job Relocation Assistance program and the Seniors Employment Incentive," he said.Some Federal Electorates affected:
Cowper (NAT): 23,093 people
Page (NAT): 23,392 people
Richmond (ALP): 23,762 people
Wide Bay (NAT): 22,947 people
Maranoa (NAT): 27,568 people
Hinkler (NAT): 19,800 people
SOURCE: Australia Institute, from ABS Census 2011 data.