Workforce participation highlights LISTO need

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data found that 44 per cent of employed women worked part-time in 2015/2016, reinforcing the need to legislate the Low Income Super Tax Offset (LISTO), Industry Super Australia (ISA) believes.

The superannuation body said more than three million lower paid workers, who were mostly women, would not unfairly end up paying more tax on their super than they do on their take home pay if LISTO was legislated.

ISA chief executive, David Whiteley, said: "We can only do this by reining in and re-directing billions of dollars' worth of tax concessions to those most in need".

"At the moment, men receive 65 per cent of tax concessions compared with 35 per cent for women," he said.

"These lop-sided tax breaks disproportionately benefit a small number of Australia's wealthiest, highest income-earning men in no need of government assistance to help save for their retirement."

The ABS' latest figures also found a 3.5 per cent increase in the number of men working part-time from 2005/2006 (11.8 per cent) to 2015/2016 (15.3 per cent). ISA said this indicated that jobs were becoming more casualised.

"We need to recalibrate tax concessions to ensure the people receiving them are the people who need them most," Whiteley said.

"If we fail to meet this most basic standard of fairness, two-thirds of single women retiring between now and 2055 will retire below a comfortable standard, and more than half of women currently aged 25 to 29 will retire on incomes below a comfortable standard.

"Not acting to correct the imbalance now will impact heavily on pension outlays, a shrinking number of taxpayers and the overall economy as our population ages."

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