Labor is being criticised for keeping voters in the dark about super

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Labor’s announcement of its plans for superannuation is still unclear, after the party refused to rule out a controversial tax measure announced by the Coalition in Budget 2016/17.

The anti-detriment payment, which is a payment passed on to dependents of super fund holders after a fund holder dies before retirement age, will cease from 1 July 2017. Labor’s factoring in of $5–6 billion in tax savings may be an indication that it will also ditch the anti-detriment payment, effectively leaving widows and orphans out of pocket.  

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen has also expressed concerns about the $500,000 lifetime cap proposed by the Coalition in Budget 2016/17, but he claims that, should Labor drop the cap if elected, it would have to find $550 million in revenue over four years from other sources.

The Labor party has indicated that it would adopt most, but not all, of the Government’s proposed changes to super.

Mr Bowen has assured voters that, if elected, Labor will consult all available ‘resources’ before making a final decision on the $500,000 lifetime cap, prompting claims that the party is keeping voters in the dark over its plans for super.

“We’re committed to raising the same amount of money as the government … we’d like to consult with the sector, from government, with the resources of Treasury to ensure that any measures that we implement are implemented in a very fair manner. The government is the one committed to the retrospective tax changes,” said Mr Bowen. “We’ve expressed grave concern about the retrospective nature of one measure in particular, the $500,000 cap. We want to sit down with the sector and work out the best way to proceed to raise the same amount of money.”

The Labor party was first out of the blocks with policies to change super tax concessions announced as early as 2015. The Turnbull Government followed suit in Budget 2016/17 with cuts to generous super concessions. The intent of the Coalition and Labor parties’ policies is similar, although the individual changes are quite different.

Since the beginning of the Election 2016 campaign, Labor has been critical of the Coalition’s superannuation changes, so it would now seem that Labor is being very cautious in accepting or reviewing any super policies.

Read more at The Sydney Morning Herald
Read more at The New Daily

What do you think of both parties’ superannuation policies? Do you feel you have enough information to make an informed decision at the polling booth? Or are you just totally confused and disengaged with the ceaseless tinkering with super?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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105 Comments

Total Comments: 105
  1. 0
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    If we think that either side are not going to raise revenue in new ways then we’re dreaming. Expect estate duties to come in at some time, probably in 10 years when the budget is still in the red.
    People need to get real. We cannot keep pork barrelling and spending like a drunk at the bottleshop. My issue is not new taxes. My issue is that we are going to see new taxes on workers and handouts to those who have been forging ahead for the last 3 decades and have no need of government assistance.

    • 0
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      I agree Mick the government is spending itself beyond it’s revenue base. Either the revenue base has to increase or spending has to decrease.

      Notice that NSW is talking about abolishing the stamp duty on the sale of houses and having a land tax on all properties instead. Their reasoning is that is will help balance their budgets betters as stamp duty has too many peaks and troughs. Good for people who buy and sell properties a lot but just another cost to those who don’t.

    • 0
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      No way to stop it Mick. You can only plan ahead.

      Possibly using trust structures or even handing over assets to children legally with provisions.

      There has to be loopholes especially for those of us outside the welfare system who paid huge taxes, saved diligently and get no acknowledgement at all.

    • 0
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      There should be no loopholes, and trusts are a loophole, every person should pay there fair share.
      A “fair share” is not an “equal dollar” amount, it is a percentage.

      If you have paid “huge taxes”, then you have been earning huge money and can afford to have saved for your future.

      Workers on $34K(minimum wage) who spend half their income just on rent ($18K-to-24K = 1 room apartment) don’t get a chance to save anything.

    • 0
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      I suspect Rae that if estate duties came in then it would be like in the past: gift duty as well to stop people doing what you suggested and even financial controls to stop citizens moving money out of the country. The rats would find some way to get average citizens whilst leaving the door open for the wealthy to move on.

    • 0
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      I am guessing that by “we cannot keep pork barrelling and spending like a drunk at the bottleshop” you are referring to Government spending MICK. If that assumption is correct we are in complete agreement. The problem is the only way to reduce the deficit is to reduce spending by all Governments, State and Federal. That is the only sure way. Revenue cannot be relied upon. Whether it is from taxation on individuals or businesses, it is dependent on business activity, and the Governments have only limited control over that.

      It is all very well to want to go to the high earners every time but you cannot expect the milch cow to keep on giving without the Governments showing a great deal more spending restraint. If this also means less welfare (the highest expenditure), then that is whet it has to be.

    • 0
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      Or broaden the base. The tool of choice from the current lot.

      I have no dislike of rich people. What gets up my nose and up the noses of millions of Australians is that rich people find ways around their fair share and then post BS about creating jobs as a justification for avoiding paying their dues. That is where it starts and ends with me.

      I would support a set percentage tax of gross income paid by all. No dodgy ways out. Interested?

    • 0
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      Mick what is gross income?

    • 0
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      That’s the earnings before accountants dodge it and come up with something called taxable income. As if you do not know how the system works.

    • 0
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      Gross income to a wage earner is what they are paid before tax. Gross income to a business is what they get after costs have been written off and before the accountants do there bit so there is not much left to pay tax on.

    • 0
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      We have a defacto estate duty now Mick its called capital gains tax and believe can that cut your inheritance down.

    • 0
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      If this Internet was any slower today I would be doing last weeks Computing !! 🙁 🙁 🙁 Where’s Me HIGH SPEED NBN Malcolm ???? 🙁

    • 0
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      Robbo some of those taxable amounts in super funds can bite into inheritances as well.

      Labor new CGT will only take a bigger bite out of inheritances.

      Don’t forget probate as well.

      I agree we already have a death tax.

    • 0
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      My memory recalls that Capital Gains Tax used to be levied on the sale of an asset after CPI adjustment. That way investors paid tax on THE REAL GAIN. Given inflation that was fair, but because governments thought they could cream more off they changed the system. Now taxpayers pay tax on half of the gain and that is a poor return when there is rampant inflation and assets go up accordingly. So much for the history lesson Geezer.
      Whilst I am not sure I am of the understanding that there is no capital gains tax payable on inheritances.
      There is currently no tax on inheritance. Nor should there be as Australia is already highly overtaxed compared to our competitors.

  2. 0
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    They are probably delaying it for one of two reasons:
    1: It’s so good they don’t want the Libs to steal it.
    2: It’s so bad they don’t want us to know about it yet.

  3. 0
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    Trish Power on Superguide.com does a great job of detailing the super policies of the major political parties. I don’t believe Labor have been that quiet. Given Labors links to unions, and the sad fact that a lot of early deaths happen in the workplace, I can’t see them dropping the anti detriment payment.

    • 0
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      Plenty of people are already asking questions about how to close down a SMSF. It simply doesn’t pay enough to cover the costs and sovereign risk unless you are very wealthy. Very wealthy people have SIVs etc in tax havens anyway. They do not trust the superannuation legislation roulette wheel so why should anyone else.

      It is also very restrictive and time consuming when investment outside super is often just as tax effective.

    • 0
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      Super only becomes tax effective if your income exceeds the tax free threshold. After the age of 60 the earnings on super are tax free. So if you exceed your individual tax free threshold paying less than 1% in fees to save 20% plus in tax each year starts to make a lot of sense. Under the present system if structure correctly you can earn a lot of money after the age of 60 without paying any tax. Super is really just a tax effective vehicle to minimise tax.

  4. 0
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    It makes one wonder if we seniors can have any trust in either of the major parties – or in the Greens too. Except that we can trust them to think of more ways to kick us in the head in our old age.

    • 0
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      Yes Alexii

    • 0
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      I suspect the Greens would come after boomers because their voter base is of the opinion that they (genYs) are hard done by and it is their parents’ fault. And then there is the intellectually flawed immigration policy which would turn Australia into a third world country in time.
      I acknowledge though that the Greens would put the cleaners through the election funding rorts of both parties, especially the business owned Liberal Party which sells legislation in exchange for funding. The practise id corruption at the highest level which the mainstream media ignores……..because it is also ‘owned’ by the big end of town.

    • 0
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      Not to mention the Union owned ALP MICK.

    • 0
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      As usual you are back to union/Labor BS. Can’t even address an argument on its merits.
      Of course you are offended by legislation which will nail your employer to the cross of corruption. Can’t have that can we?

    • 0
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      It was a speechless moment or two last night on The Drum when it was suggested “old people weren’t important”. Someone said “That’s a bit harsh” but no one could refute the fact that retirees have been completely ignored in this election.

      If the retiree vote is squandered this election by ignorance and team favouritism then we will have no one else to blame. That is what the Parties count on. The rusted on old folk that can be treated like crap and will still give us their vote.

      Here is a perfect chance to demonstrate that government ignore the ageing at their own peril.

      I’m not holding my breath though.

    • 0
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      I always say we deserve what we get. If older Australians let themselves be conned and/or are rusted on to their Party then they deserve what they get.
      I have been saying for some time that WE NEED TO VOTE AS A BLOCK and send a message. Try telling that to people who are losing their reasoning power though.

    • 0
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      What’s the problem Sceptic, was your Mum scared by a nasty Unionist when she was pregnant with you?

  5. 0
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    Comment for Sundays – the web site you mention superguide.com doesn’t appear to exist. When I went to it an add came up saying the domain is for sale for a 6 figure sum.

  6. 0
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    We are assuming that current recessionary financial conditions will never change. We have had what is probably the longest downturn since the great depression but as we know all downturns have eventually turned round and this one should in a couple of years. Government income greatly improves with improved economic conditions and taxes and income become more than adequate to cover expenditure. We need to be very careful not to condone cuts or increased taxes that will further impoverish people as these burdens as slow to be removed when prosperity returns.

  7. 0
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    Labor invented the Australian superannuation scheme. Labor has consistently raised employer contributions.

    The Liberals have never supported this just like they don’t support anything that doesn’t benefit their rich mates. They have frozen the scheduled increases to employer contributions.

    Only Labor can be trusted with superannuation. You can be sure that any changes Labor makes will benefit ordinary workers and retirees.

    • 0
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      Labor has brought in every major change in society. We would have had no superannuation for average citizens or Medicare or NBN were it not for Labor.
      I don’t want to sound like a billboard because I support neither side of politics but it is what it is: Labor brings in policies which bring some fairness and commonsense to politics and Liberals care not one iota about average people seeking only to send more and more money to the big end of town whilst taxing us all more. Wealth redistribution and class warfare. Never changes!

    • 0
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      Super does a great job in supporting the big multinationals with the worker getting only what is left after they have had their fill. Seems odd that Labor would support such a policy given that Labor brings fairness and commonsense to politics. If that isn’t supporting their rich mates then what is?

    • 0
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      Labor did NOT invent Australian Superannuation. They only legislated for the COMPULSORY super. I had a Defined Benifit Super account in 1978. Converted that account to the one I have now in 1982.

    • 0
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      Were it not for Labor then workers would not have one single dollar in superannuation. The LNP would repeal it if it could but any attempt to do so would see it voted out with the biggest margin in history. Of course the scales were tipped in favour of the rich with several decades of super concessions which flowed straight to the big end of town. Has anybody wondered why the mainstream Press never brought this ponzi scheme down? Not rocket science.

    • 0
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      I commenced paying into a super fund in 1960 with the employer matching my contributions dollar for dollar. It was a condition of employment. I think a broad statement that Labor brought in super for workers is too general and misleading. Labor brought in compulsory super for those who didn’t have any scheme available.

    • 0
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      Old Man. You are correct, but Labor think they invented the universe.

    • 0
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      You were in the public service then Old Man.
      If Labor had not brought in superannuation for workers niemakawa then workers would have nix.
      As for the universe it is clear that the coalition believes that Labor is responsible for all ills and that it responsible for all good policy. Makes one want to peuk.

    • 0
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      Mick, you seem to forget that the SGC is not paid by the Company nor do they match dollar for dollar. The SGC is actually paid by the employee and is packaged as part of their salary/wage.

    • 0
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      “Labor is responsible for all ills and that it responsible for all good policy. Makes one want to peuk.”

      MICK, as you were so rude to another blogger, pointing out his/her lack of spelling ability, I will point out your mistakes as they come. The above is your latest spelling error. As you sow, so shall ye reap.

    • 0
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      Peuk is Mexican for too much Takeela !! 🙂

    • 0
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      It’s interesting that when the Govt of the time introduced a compulsory super scheme it is praised, but when a Govt legislates for other controls they are crucified for meddling in our lives. Super has been available since the early sixties, I started mine with the now defunct CML insurance, I was and have been a lowly paid worker. BUT I ALWAYS LOOKED AFTER MY OWN INTERESTS, not like the oxygen thieves that infect this site with their moronic posts.

    • 0
      0

      We talk about a compulsory super scheme but it is anything but that. It is only compulsory for PAYG workers. Everyone else gets a choice of how to invest their savings. Or not as they choose.

    • 0
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      Old Man: so you have gone from demanding “proof” for everything anybody says that you do not like to running the “rude” line.
      I may be upfront at times but at the very least I am not a rusted on troll who pretends to be politically correct as he spews out his venom without PROOF of any manner other than the normal tired old unions and pink batts garbage.
      I am pretty well sick of your crap Old Man (or is it Frank). Try it on somebody who cares.

  8. 0
    0

    Idiots.

    And Bowen wants to be treasurer? On national TV last year was asked what the income tax brackets were. He had no clue.

    • 0
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      ah – that’s not true, it was the tax free threshold (~$18k), which seems to change every year.
      And the interview was supposed to be about superannuation changes, the tax free threshold question was from left field, late on a Tuesday night, with Alan Jones the interviewer.
      Having dealt with Alan Jones personally I can assure you the man is a terrier, shows no mercy and gives you no time to gather your thoughts.

      Being the best at rote learning does not make you a good treasurer, Hockey is brilliant at rote learning and yet Hockey is the worst performing treasurer since the Menzies era.

    • 0
      0

      All pollies learn on the job Julian. They are tutored by the best economists in the business (if there is such a thing) and most turn out pretty well. In all fairness Bowen is no worse than Hockey and he made a pretty good case on the 7:30 Report a couple of nights ago so maybe needs the benefit of the doubt.

    • 0
      0

      Ah yes..the threshold.

      But really, you’d think he’d know something so basic. Jones isn’t afraid to give to politicians and so has to be applauded for asking for the hard questions. (Apparently for Bowen, it was a hard one)

      After seeing him flounder, dodge and weave that question, he did nothing to fill us with a sense of confidence in the matters of finance. Organizing lunch money would be difficult for this guy.

    • 0
      0

      I had a bad opinion of Jones after the ‘she lied’ campaign he ran against Julia Gillard. Especially as he is a self confessed card Liberal and did not run a ‘he lied’ campaign against Abbott. That was totally unfair given one lie against a a dozen and counting.
      I had to reassess Jones after Q&A last night. Jones went after the facts rather than the colour of the Party and he had some severe criticism of the government. Corman, who is not the sharpest tool in the shed at any time, was cringing on the panel and had no answer to either Jones or Plibersek who shredded the government’s propaganda with the facts. The response from Corman was a look of embarrassment and resorting to quoting the normal non relevant BS they do when they are cornered.
      It was pleasing to see that after the normal failure of the big business media outlets to pursue the facts and the truth that Corman was crucified by the lies of his Party and had nowhere to wriggle.

    • 0
      0

      MICK, I would not take anything that Jones says to heart, most of his rhetoric is paid for comment, that is unless someone refuses to pay, then his vitriol is free.
      He has not been especially kind to the LNP lately because they booted his mate Tony out of the leadership.
      In most cases Shock Jocks are self serving megalomaniacs concerned only with making money and scaring the vulnerable old ladies who listen to and believe them.

  9. 0
    0

    The word ‘politics’ is derived from the word ‘poly’, meaning ‘many’, and the word ‘ticks’, meaning ‘blood sucking parasites’.

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