Shorten threatens resignation

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The financial services and superannuation portfolio almost had a new minister this morning, after current minister Bill Shorten threatened to resign.

Shorten released a statement last night, indicating that he would be voting for Kevin Rudd to lead the Labor Party.

“I have carefully considered my position, and have come to the view that Labor stands the best chance of continuing to deliver nation changing reforms under the leadership of Kevin Rudd.

“I understand that this position may come at great personal cost to me, and it has weighed heavily on my mind,” Shorten said.

“If Julia Gillard wins the leadership ballot then I wish her well and offer my resignation from Cabinet.”

One Minister who wasn’t so lucky was Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan, who resigned and will be replaced by Anthony Albanese as deputy Labor leader, while Chris Bowen is predicted to become Treasurer.

A recent Mercer Poll shows that Rudd may have the support, with employers and employees backing the Labor policy to increase the Superannuation Guarantee.

According to Mercer’s latest SG Opinion Poll more than two in three working Australians strongly support the SG increasing from 9% to 12%. Forty-four per cent believe any delay in boosting the SG contribution rate will have a negative impact on their retirement savings, and women and those aged 50 plus are more likely to feel this way. The Coalition has declared it will delay the SG increase for two years from 1 July, 2014, which would mean the SG would not reach 12 per cent until 2021 instead of 2019.

How do you think the new change in leadership is going to affect financial services policy? Share your thoughts.