In an effort to bring dissenting Coalition members back on-side, Treasurer Scott Morrison has released figures he believes will prove that the Budget 2016/17 super reforms would benefit millions of ordinary Australians.
According to Mr Morrison’s figures, only four per cent of Australia’s 16 million superannuants, or around 700,000 people, will be adversely affected by the $2.5 billion superannuation changes, with the nation’s richest retirees most likely to feel the pinch.
This information comes during the midst of a noticeable rift inside the Coalition, with tensions reaching tipping point during July’s Federal Election. Super tax increases are said to have caused turmoil within the Liberal Party’s own ranks, leading to MPs withdrawing their support at the polling booths due to the belief that over four per cent of Australia’s superannuants would be affected by the changes. Some members even quit the party in protest.
Members of the Government, including Mr Morrison, hope that the release of these figures exposes that dissenters are up in arms over the changes out of self-interest, rather than concern for the Australian populace.
Last week, Liberal backbenchers, including former prime minister Tony Abbott, put pressure on Mr Morrison to remove one of the changes, a planned $500,000 lifetime cap on non-concessional super contributions. The lifetime cap, one of the major focus points for the dissenting Coalition members, would affect fewer than 200,000 people – the majority of whom earn incomes within the top 10 per cent of the nation.
Mr Morrison is hopeful that once the internal politics have been settled, the proposed changes with Labor’s backing will pass as legislation – saving $2.5 billion over 10 years.
Claiming that the super changes are vital to fixing the Budget deficit and making the super system sustainable, Mr Morrison also insisted that they would deliver support to Australians living on lower incomes. Around 3.1 million people, including 1.9 million from the Government’s proposed low-income superannuation tax offset, are set to benefit.
“It’s important that we make changes to make it more sustainable so it’s there for future generations and is doing the job and the purpose it’s designed for,” Mr Morrison told Sydney radio yesterday.
The Government is supposedly intending to make public the new legislation, though the more controversial reforms are not expected to be made for some time yet.
Read more at The Australian