Super cuts to hit Mallee residents hard

MALLEE residents will be among the hardest hit when the Federal Government axes the Low Income Super Contribution next month.

The policy rebates up to $500 into the super accounts of working Australians earning less than $37,000 and whose marginal tax rate is 15 per cent or less.

The Coalition announced it would scrap the contribution - introduced by Labor in 2012 - prior to last year's election.

Hesta super fund chief executive Anne-Marie Corboy said abolishing the payment would leave one in three Australian workers worse off, with the effects disproportionately felt in rural and regional areas.

"Removing the LISC would automatically wipe off almost $500 million in super savings for these workers, leaving hard-working Australians who can least afford it with a big shortfall in their super balances at retirement," she said.

Ms Corboy said 24 of the 25 worst affected electorates were rural or regional.

An Industry Super Australia report estimates 47 per cent of Mallee workers will be affected - the highest figure in Victoria.

Of those, 57.1 per cent are women.

The report estimates 46 per cent of Wannon residents will be affected, including 57.9 per cent of female employees.

Ms Corboy said 280,000 Hesta members would have their retirement savings cut by up to $27,000 if the payment was removed.

"More than 80 per cent of Hesta members are women and many of them work in rural and regional areas as nurses or aged care workers," she said.

"A lot of them work part-time, which is why they are under the $37,000 threshold.

"The health and community service industry will be disproportionately affected by the cut, with just under 60 per cent of Mallee women affected."

Ms Corboy said scrapping the policy would impact all taxpayers as it would increase the burden on the aged pension.

She said statistically, women were generally paid less than men, but lived longer.

"Tax concessions for super are very important, but they need to be distributed equally," she said.

Ms Corboy encouraged Mallee residents to lobby the government to keep the policy.

"Legislation is currently before Federal Parliament to abolish the Low Income Superannuation Contribution," she said.

"We asked members last year when this was announced to contact their local members and senators about how the cut will affect them, to try to affect how the vote will happen," she said.

"Removing the LISC would mean Australia's lowest paid workers are the only ones not to receive any tax benefit on their super contributions and that's simply unfair.

"The LISC must be retained to protect the superannuation balances of Australians who depend on it.

"Hesta is doing everything it can to keep this essential benefit in place and urges all Australians to get behind us."

Ms Corboy said people could visit www.hesta.com.au for more information about how they could help in the fight to retain the Low Income Super Contribution.

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