CANBERRA, AAP – Women fleeing violence should not have to ransack their meagre superannuation savings, Labor says.
Legislating early access to super of up to $10,000 in cases of family violence and giving courts access to tax data on super during family law proceedings is in the works before the May budget.
But Labor is concerned the government’s plan could trigger financially motivated violence by giving abusers another means by which to extort money from their victims.
“This is a final insult to the women of Australia,” Labor backbencher Ged Kearney told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.
“What a double whammy. This is at a time when we know women over 55 are the fastest growing group of people in our homeless community.”
Instead, Labor wants the government to immediately institute paid domestic violence leave to give women and children a safe means to flee abuse and fund more housing and support services.
“To all those women who have felt gaslighted, who have felt undermined by this prime minister, vote him out,” Ms Kearney said.
Women already have significantly less money saved for their retirement than men, and men obtain more of an advantage from current tax breaks on contributions.
Minister for Superannuation Jane Hume plans to release draft laws within weeks via the Treasury website to get buy-in from community groups, super funds and lawyers.