Minister Rishworth interview on Sky News with Peter Stefanovic


Topics: Superannuation on Paid Parental Leave, Albanese Cabinet, Sam Kerr

PETER STEFANOVIC, HOST: Well, superannuation will be offered to parents accessing the Government funded Paid Parental Leave scheme if Labor is re-elected next year. We've already had some positive reaction to this this morning, so on that note, let's bring in the Social Services Minister, Amanda Rishworth. Minister, good to see you. Thanks for your time this morning. So, can you spell it out for us? How will it work?

AMANDA RISHWORTH, MINISTER FOR SOCIAL SERVICES: What we know already is that women's retirement savings are 25 per cent less than men at the time of retirement, and that's because women often take some time out of the workforce. So, obviously the Government is making a huge investment in Paid Parental Leave. Now, we're expanding it to 26 weeks, but we haven't been paying superannuation on that. So, this announcement today is making very clear that we will pay the superannuation, which on the 1 July 2025 will be 12 per cent on the Government Paid Parental Leave. So, this is a really important announcement. It will lead to thousands of extra dollars at the time of retirement for women that receive this. So, this is a positive investment into the future for working women.

PETER STEFANOVIC: Okay. But it's dependent on you winning the election, right? So, why not put a rush on it and try and bring it in now?

AMANDA RISHWORTH: We are intending to implement it from the 1 July 2025. A lot of work has to go in. We need legislative change, which we will be working towards, as well as changes to the ATO and Services Australia. So, there's some administrative change and also legislative change, but we're really clear, we're committed to this. This isn't whether or not we win the election. We're working towards that now with an implementation date of 1 July 2025.

PETER STEFANOVIC: So, why now, Minister? I mean, you walked this back prior to the last election, right?

AMANDA RISHWORTH: We've been improving Paid Parental Leave from the very beginning of this Government. The first lot of changes I introduced were more generous means testing for families as well as more flexibility. We've then got legislation before the Parliament to increase the number of weeks to 26 weeks. So, they were our priorities. But we were always clear that we also intended, when the Budget could afford it, that we would introduce superannuation on paid parental leave, and that's what we've done.

PETER STEFANOVIC: Has this been costed?

AMANDA RISHWORTH: We are working through the Budget processes to ensure the final costings have been put into place, but the parameters are clear. About 180,000 parents in any one year access the Government's Paid Parental Leave and the superannuation guarantee rate will be at 12 per cent.

PETER STEFANOVIC: Come the 1 July, $250 million. That's the estimate that is out there this morning. Is that about right?

AMANDA RISHWORTH: Well, I'm not going to confirm that. What I would say is there is 12 per cent on 180,000 families’ Paid Parental Leave. By that time, we will be introducing it to 24 weeks of Paid Parental Leave. So, this is a big investment at that point.

PETER STEFANOVIC: Minister, a couple of other issues this morning that have taken my eye. According to the Sydney Morning Herald some Federal Ministers are frustrated that key spending proposals are being rejected by Anthony Albanese's inner circle, that being Penny Wong and Katy Gallagher, who've been dubbed co- Deputy Prime Ministers. This is, of course, all ahead of the Budget, Ed Husic named as one. Are you another?

AMANDA RISHWORTH: The Albanese Government is running a Cabinet-style Government. We are a long way from where our Prime Minister is appointing himself to five or six portfolios secretly. Anthony Albanese has been very clear he's running a traditional cabinet government and if you want to see the outcomes of what we're delivering, they are on show today. Paid Parental Leave expansion, superannuation, bigger, better tax cuts for middle Australia. That is the outcomes of running a strong Government that is focused on the needs of Australians.

PETER STEFANOVIC: o, is there any tension behind the scenes to protect that forecast second surplus or the suspected second surplus?

AMANDA RISHWORTH: We're going through the Budget process. The Cabinet will go through that process and I expect, as you've already seen, that the Government is being responsible and is working towards a better economic future for Australians right across the country.

PETER STEFANOVIC: I've just got a final one this morning and I know your announcement is important, but the water cooler story of today, Minister, is Sam Kerr calling a British police officer a stupid white bastard. What do you make of those comments?

AMANDA RISHWORTH: I've only seen the reports and I don't have any specific details. The reports I've been shocked by, Sam Kerr is a national treasure, but this is obviously a legal proceeding and the legal proceeding will take its course.

PETER STEFANOVIC: Is that racist, though, in your view?

AMANDA RISHWORTH: I'm not going to comment on newspaper reports. All I would say is, when the reports came up, I think a lot of Australians were shocked and they will go through the legal processes in the UK. As I said, Sam Kerr and the Matildas do our country proud and we look forward to seeing their great athleticism on show. They're coming to South Australia. It’s great.

PETER STEFANOVIC: Amanda Rishworth, thank you for your time, as always.