October 19th 2002

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Bush changes US strategic doctrine

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: ALP Conference: triumph of 'spin' over substance

CANBERRA OBSERVED: PM's loopy housing scheme evades rebuke

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Social 'reforms': Rann's devious politics

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Yes - it is about oil, and arms, and ... doublethink

SUGAR: Behind the sugar crisis

OBITUARY: Ted Serong: a great Australian

FINANCE: A $50 billion war chest for the ALP?

LETTERS: Superannuation and the ALP (letter)

LETTERS: Democrats (letter)

LETTERS: Life matters (letter)

WATER: Wimmera-Mallee major water conservation project underway

CHINA: China will remain the major challenge to America

COMMENT: Share collapse: we've seen it all before

BUSINESS: Just how 'ethical' can business be?

COMMENT: Dysfunctional Victoria

BOOKS: Wilful murder: the Sinking of the Lusitania, by Diana Preston

Books promotion page

Superannuation and the ALP (letter)

by Robert Bom

News Weekly, October 19, 2002

The idea of a National Superannuation Scheme sits well with people and the Labor Party is fully aware of this issue. There is a sticking point. The ALP is rock solid on one condition for such a plan. It has to be controlled by the union movement or there will be none at all.

It was that one single demand on which Mr Hawke's Superannuation Bill foundered back in 1983. Since that time, the unions have established their industry and award based superannuation funds on the back of the life insurance industry, subject to industrial laws.

It is this union-based system that the ALP wants to back and reform into a national superannuation plan.

A number of superannuation initiatives are now part of the ALP policy platform adopted at Hobart. Industrial laws and therefore the union-dominated industry superannuation system will prevail over all other legislation.

The influence of the Trade Practices Act over industrial laws will be removed. Any other choice, no matter how good, will be barred if it undermines well-run union industry funds.

The question for the electorate at the next election will be if they will allow the ALP and the unions to go ahead with this blatant piece of feather-bedding.

Robert Bom,
Rockhampton, Qld

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