Superannuation changes no help to low-income earners

Raising the GST may have lost its appeal for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

woman counting dollars of income and superannuation

Raising and expanding the scope of the GST has been the hot political topic in the last 12 months. However, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has all but confirmed it will remain as is for the foreseeable future.

Mr Turnbull told the ABC’s Insiders program yesterday morning that increasing the GST would not deliver the increased economic growth the country needed. "At this stage I remain to be convinced or persuaded that a tax mix switch of that kind would actually give us the economic benefit you'd want in order to do such a big thing," he told Barrie Cassidy, host of Insiders.

Government ministers, who have said that ending any discussion on the increase or expansion of the GST as soon as possible would be sensible, reiterated the message. However, with the pressing need to increase government revenue, this year’s federal budget would still involve major tax reform.

While GST increases may be off the table, the Government could look to offer states a share of income tax revenue in return for a portion of GST earnings.

Nationals MP David Gillespie, who had asked the Parliamentary Budget Office to provide a model of the impact of a rise to 15 per cent GST as part of broader tax reform, said he welcomed the apparent change in sentiment and looked forward to hearing more from the Prime Minister. "If you are going to reform away from the dependence on high personal income tax, and company tax and all these counterproductive state stamp duties and payroll taxes, you have to have a broad reform, that's the point I was making,” Dr Gillespie said, adding, "It can't be tinkering round the edges, otherwise the more things you rule out the less you can actually do to reform."

The most likely area to be targeted is superannuation tax concessions, with an aim to deliver low and middle-income earners income tax relief, while ensuring a system that is seen to be fairer for all.

Dr Gillespie has warned that the Government will need to proceed with caution and protect the savings of those who have worked all their lives to save for retirement. "People who've saved all their life and built up their own superannuation funds, it's their money, it's not a little piggy bank that you go raiding," he said.

"If they want to change things prospectively, going forward, in a sensible measured way, of course I'll look at it, but you can't do anything retrospectively with what people have saved over their whole working career."

Read more at ABC.net.au 

Opinion: Super fix no help to low-income earners

It appears that after deciding any changes to GST are likely to be a hard sell in the lead-up to the federal election, the Government has shifted its focus to superannuation.

Seen as a much easier win for the Government, the proposed changes are likely to centre around the rate at which tax concessions benefit those who make super contributions. Currently, those who pay more tax, save more tax when contributions are made and taxed at only 15 per cent. And for those who pay little or no tax, the 15 per cent tax on super contributions can actually cost them more.

The Government is rumoured to be considering switching the way tax concessions are applied, by ensuring that they are the same for everyone – 15 cents in every dollar. It is seen that this would deliver a fairer and simpler superannuation system, while also delivering savings of around $6 billion per year.

While this would mean that those on higher incomes no longer had a loophole to pay less tax, it doesn’t address the issue for many low-income earners who pay little or no tax and for whom superannuation actually costs them money.  This disproportionate taxation, coupled with the cessation of the low income super contribution in July 2017, means that for those paying less than 15 per cent tax on every dollar paid into super, including the superannuation guarantee, saving for retirement holds little incentive.

Clearly our superannuation system needs to be fairer but simply taxing those who can afford to pay more isn’t the answer.  The reality is that even after paying higher tax on superannuation contributions, those on higher incomes are better placed to fund their retirement. It’s those who don’t have the luxury of a high paying job who need a fairer go when planning and saving for retirement.

Do you think that making the tax rate on superannuation contributions the same for all is a step in the right direction? Does it go far enough? Is it more acceptable than a rise in and/or an extension of the GST?

Other articles:

Higher GST will hit retirees 

Why do women retire in poverty? 

Paying extra can boost super

$1 million not enough 





    COMMENTS

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    MICK
    8th Feb 2016
    10:53am
    At long last the point I have been making on this forum for some time is beginning to get the attention it deserves. This government has tried its best to tax average Australians to death and deliver the next round of tax cuts to its rich constituency, but it has many opponents. The GetUp organisation which is so reviled by this right wing government (just like the ABC) has a huge and growing support base as many Australians are waking up to the game playing out here.
    In case voters have not realised the next strategy from our right wing government is to knock out the senate and gain a majority there. If that does happen (it well might) then whatever these bastards bring down on working Australians will be a done deal. Don't hold your breath that a GST increase is off the table. It isn't and when all opposition is wiped out it will be game on. Voters need to consider their fate carefully before they cast their vote.....or be prepared to cop the hiding they are going to get. As a frequent traveller to the US believe me when I say the results will not be pretty.
    particolor
    8th Feb 2016
    11:51am
    Hear ! Here !!
    libsareliars
    8th Feb 2016
    1:34pm
    Spot on Mick. Do not trust the LNP people!
    roy
    8th Feb 2016
    3:36pm
    We have to vote independent.
    MICK
    8th Feb 2016
    3:46pm
    By the way: the above post is NOT from me. But this is the line I take. So to myself....I agree.
    Anonymous
    8th Feb 2016
    5:26pm
    Either Turnbull is getting excellent strategy advice from someone or he is gutless and I'm leaning towards the latter. Labor has spent much of its political capital scaring the populus about a GST putting the price of everything up and will not have much ammunition should Turnbull rule out changing the GST. This could be a good strategy.

    On the other hand, why has Morrison gone in so hard if there wasn't a strong possibility of changing the GST? Why has Baird raised eyebrows with his strong statements supporting a change to the GST? These things are never accidental and Turnbull should have been stronger when his backbenchers started mumbling about losing seats. He should have smacked them down and continued on with the original GST campaign.

    Turnbull appears to want everybody to love him, he wants tp please everybody at the same time. Rudd tried this, agreeing with everybody, and found out that a good politician should try and identify the majority position and support that.
    LiveItUp
    8th Feb 2016
    5:36pm
    It is more like Shorten is campaigning against a GST and holiday penalty rates that is behind it as that is what his advisors have told him he needs to do to have any chance of winning next election.
    MICK
    9th Feb 2016
    2:54am
    Are you for real Old Man. The effect of broadening the base to include food on top of increasing the rate is clear. Nothing to do with a scare campaign. The facts are that the above will hit the poor as well as already struggling hand to mouth workers.
    The bit you do not address is where this intended new tax is going to end up. Not in repairing the budget. In the bank accounts of the rich because Turnbull has already indicated that the big end of town needs tax relief.....and this can only happen with the rest of the nation being taxed more. THAT IS THE ONLY POSSIBILITY. So lets avoid the political tripe and stick with the facts.
    Anonymous
    9th Feb 2016
    8:11am
    Oldman, you must be among the well-off who think it perfectly acceptable to starve the underprivileged? The GST proposal was nothing more than a mechanism to shift more of the tax burden from the wealthy to the battlers. In discussing Turnbull's statement that he didn't support it, Morrison was VERY clear that the purpose was NOT to increase the tax take and NOT to spend more on health and education, but SOLELY to facilitate BIG TAX CUTS FOR HIGH INCOME EARNERS.

    That the public opposed it so strongly is evidence that more of the public would suffer loss if the proposal were implemented - of course, because the majority of the public are battlers, not earning enough to pay much, if any, tax. And they are rightly sick to death of this government pandying to the greed of the well-to-do.
    old-age worker
    8th Feb 2016
    11:30am
    Thanks Mick for showing the guts to say what a lot of us believe.
    It's hard for the average Aussie to come to grips with what this Government will do, given absolute power. Hence all the rubbish bandied around about the minor parties in the Senate.
    We vote them in for a reason! And when the Government "tinkers" with the voting rules in order to get rid of the minor parties (and hence gain total control of the Senate), we voters will STILL make sure the Government of the day doesn't get a majority! (We hope the average Aussie knows how to do this..).
    Back to Super. I cant help feeling all this talk about an unfair Super plan, isn't about preparing us for a bigger tax grab (for those who can't afford it. It will NEVER be about a bigger tax grab for the rich.)
    MICK
    8th Feb 2016
    1:17pm
    The other thing that concerns me is that the 'Free Press', for want of another word, is doing its best to push Turnbull and discredit some of the cross benches. Clive might deserve what he is getting but it looks suspiciously like an election agenda to me.
    Anonymous
    9th Feb 2016
    8:14am
    I consider it disgusting for politicians to criticize the Senate for voting down ideas that are passed in the House. To talk about changing voting rules or distribution to weaken the power of the Senate is anti-democratic and an insult to voters. Anyone who supports any politician or party that engages in this sort of effort to reduce the balancing power of our Senate should be ousted immediately. They are acting contrary to the entire objective behind our democratic system, and seeking power they have no right to even want, let alone pursue.
    MICK
    9th Feb 2016
    2:10pm
    The senate was never envisage to be a rubber stamp. This is of course precisely what the current would be totalitarian regime expects.
    Mygasheater
    8th Feb 2016
    12:02pm
    Malcolm Turnbull changes his mind on those principles he used to hold so dear, an emissions trading scheme, same sex marriage, the republic and now, he has backed down - for now - on increasing the GST. The man stands for nothing.

    He's Tony Abbott, just wearing a more expensive suit.
    libsareliars
    8th Feb 2016
    1:36pm
    So true.
    MICK
    8th Feb 2016
    3:48pm
    And with a Cayman Islands Tax shelter......whilst expecting the rest of the nation to pay more tax. And this is our PM?????
    Anonymous
    8th Feb 2016
    4:14pm
    How many Micks have we got on this sight t heir was I am sure another Mick on Friday that had completely different ideas to this Mick I couldn't believe what I was Reading.

    I'm used of this Mick (leftwing) we hardly agree on anything.
    Mygasheater
    8th Feb 2016
    4:31pm
    Robbo,

    It must be a completely different Mick.There is another Mick who is neither left or right but more the parsons nose. This other Mick is a bit of a stirrer.
    MICK
    8th Feb 2016
    4:52pm
    Come on robbo. You know who is behind this. Do tell.
    Scrivener
    8th Feb 2016
    5:09pm
    WOT! You don't trust politicians? Yikes.
    Anonymous
    8th Feb 2016
    5:20pm
    THIS is TODAY'S news. What will Malcoln Turnaround have for us TOMORROW?
    Adrianus
    9th Feb 2016
    4:06pm
    I have noticed a few micks here too! Unless it's one mick with a changing personality?
    Dolly
    8th Feb 2016
    1:14pm
    They are just looking for ways to get votes in the coming election. Bill Shorten started it by saying "There will be no increase to GST with a Labor government. Turnbull has backed off & now thinking about Super to get votes.
    LiveItUp
    8th Feb 2016
    4:06pm
    Isn't Shorten looking at super and taxing the super pensions of those over 60 too?
    Anonymous
    8th Feb 2016
    4:17pm
    Yes Bonny he sure is as was Gillard if you can remember an income of above $75000.00 per annum was to be taxed in super, before she got kicked out.
    Mygasheater
    8th Feb 2016
    4:42pm
    Here is the link below to the ALP superannuation policy for those who would like to know.

    http://www.alp.org.au/fairer_super_plan
    Mygasheater
    8th Feb 2016
    4:42pm
    Here is the link below to the ALP superannuation policy for those who would like to know.

    http://www.alp.org.au/fairer_super_plan
    Mygasheater
    8th Feb 2016
    4:50pm
    Below is from the ALP super policy regarding why changes needs to be made.


    "A recent report by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) highlighted the unsustainable nature of the existing tax concessions, noting that there are 475 people with super balances in excess of $10 million who are earning tax-free income of about $1.5m each year. In addition, more than 24,000 self-managed super funds with account balances of more than $2m have annual tax-free earnings in the hundreds of thousands."
    MICK
    8th Feb 2016
    4:54pm
    robbo: unless I am wrong I seem to recall that EARNINGS over $100,000 were to be taxed. Not a bad policy I would have thought given the many tax minimisation schemes the rich had available to them during their working lives.
    LiveItUp
    8th Feb 2016
    5:03pm
    It was over $100,000 which is not hard to do with a year of good returns. Even with my small super balance I exceeded this the year it was announced.
    MICK
    9th Feb 2016
    2:57am
    Bonny: You said previously that you were drawing a pension. So you are a tax cheat? Please explain.
    For the record anybody earning over $100,000 pa should expect to pay some tax. Only fair.
    Anonymous
    9th Feb 2016
    8:18am
    I see nothing wrong and everything right with taxing a superannuation pension for a retiree if it exceeds $100,000 income in a year. And I see nothing wrong with and everything right with winding back tax concessions for people with super balances over $2 million.

    We need more tax revenue for the government to waste. That's a given. And it WILL be wasted no matter which party is in power. It's only right and fair that it come from those who have way more than they realistically need.

    And Bonny, no retiree needs more than $100,000 in one year. Anyone who achieves that should be proud and happy to contribute to the welfare of the nation. I would celebrate getting a tax bill in retirement if my income exceeded the $58,000 experts rightly declare is enough to live comfortably for a year in retirement.
    Anonymous
    9th Feb 2016
    9:59am
    Bonny, sadly you are showing your true colours. You claim pensions are ''welfare'' and oppose better living standards for pensioners because you are NOT one. You support a very unfair change to the taper rate because you are over the threshold anyway and are not affected, so it doesn't matter about those that are. However, you oppose the GST increase. It WILL hurt you. And you now oppose taxing anyone whose superannuation income in retirement exceeds $100,000 on the basis that YOURS does in a good year. Never mind whether it's fair or right or decent. All you have to say is that it would affect YOU, so therefore you oppose it.

    I would have thought any decent Australian would be only too pleased to be taxed in retirement on an income double that deemed enough for a ''comfortable'' retirement and way more than triple the aged pension.

    My only objection to the proposal discussed here is that it doesn't go far enough. Labor's idea of taxing high incomes in retirement and limiting concessions for people with high super balances is sound. It may need further tweaking, but we definitely need to make superannuation more appealing to battlers and stop it being used as a tax haven. And retirees SHOULD pay their way if they are well able - but based on INCOME. It's NOT fair to deprive people of the benefit of hard-won savings that they may have sacrificed to accumulate with specific lifestyle objectives or special needs in mind if those savings aren't generating an income well above pension level.
    Adrianus
    9th Feb 2016
    4:11pm
    Yes Bonny stop that!
    What else do you do for fun? Jump into a bull ring with a red flag lol.
    peedee
    8th Feb 2016
    1:24pm
    I don't think this opinion piece is accurate. My understanding is that the current perceived problem is that everyone pays a flat 15% concessional tax rate on super inputs giving the highest taxed a 30% tax discount therefore giving more benefits to the higher income earners, whereas the new proposal is to have a 15% difference for everyone . i.e if you are on a lower income bracket say of 19 cents/dollar then 15% would remain but if you were on a higher tax rate such as 45 cents/dollar then you would get a 15%/dollar discount and pay 30 cents/dollar. The higher income earners would pay more. Please correct me if I am wrong. Still not totally equitable but it seems a step in the right direction
    Anonymous
    9th Feb 2016
    8:22am
    That's how I understood the proposal, peedee, and it's certainly a much fairer system than we have currently, though I can see that other than be increasing the government's total tax revenue (which is obviously of benefit to everyone if it's done without hurting battlers) it would yield little benefit to those on low incomes. Why is that a problem?

    This government seems to have warped logic. It wasn't a problem wiping out the savings and lifestyle of 560,000 retirees to save $2.4 billion in a measure that did NOTHING for low income earners or the most disadvantaged pensioners. Why should it be a problem slugging high-income-earners a bit to raise an extra $6 billion?

    Oh, I get it! Because it's HIGH INCOME EARNERS being asked to cough up. The right wing HAS to find something wrong with any such proposal.
    Tombo
    8th Feb 2016
    1:44pm
    Mick, so good to see that the powers that be in Canberra, who assiduously follow your razor-like comments on this obscure blog are, in your own words, 'at long last' seeing the light.
    MICK
    8th Feb 2016
    3:08pm
    We all live in hope Tombo.
    It makes it worthwhile if the sheer dishonesty inherent in politics is occasionally addressed and if the vested interests are told to 'bugger off'.
    I hold out some hope that our elected representatives may some day understand that they are hated amongst men (people?) and that they are actually AUSTRALIANS and owe the nation as a whole a lot more than they owe the bastards who stump up election funding to buy policy.
    As for this website, don't be too sure about it being a nothing site. Not everybody posts but journos and pollies are directed here by their staff and people spread information. When you read the amount of ill feeling from average Australians you know that something is wrong. And when you see the obvious posts from political trolls you know they are worried. They should be.
    Tombo
    8th Feb 2016
    3:53pm
    So true Mick. And how defeated and depressed must be the army of 'political trolls' hired and paid for at vast expense to review this insignificant blog every single day in order to counter the sheer brilliance of your arguments. Why, even at this very moment I'm sure your comments above are being angrily discussed and debated right up to Cabinet Level. Mick, continue to fight the good fight!
    Scrivener
    8th Feb 2016
    5:04pm
    This government thinks like the Sheriff of Nottingham. When will the bubble-heads get it that taxing drives economies into penury? They claim to be super-whizz financial managers and yet they haven't got a clue about investing. All they have to do is shamelessly steal Iceland's model - not to adopt completely, but to take some of their best ideas. Why do we vest our children's futures in the hands of self serving farmers, shop-keepers and broken down lawyers?
    Anonymous
    8th Feb 2016
    5:21pm
    Because there is a critical shortage, if not total absence, of political talent.
    LiveItUp
    8th Feb 2016
    5:38pm
    Hasn't Iceland just had all it's debt just cancelled too?
    Anonymous
    8th Feb 2016
    9:54pm
    No, just frozen.
    MICK
    9th Feb 2016
    3:00am
    Scrivener: governments live in the land of nod because they are not restricted to income and simply tax citizens more when they waste and misuse the public money they have. It's called 'absolute power' and 'the king's new clothes'. If they were not total imbeciles you'd have to give them some credence but apart from the gift of the gab many of our pollies have little or nothing between the ears. And so the game plays on............
    Adrianus
    10th Feb 2016
    8:59am
    Quick Fast Eddie :)
    Didn't Iceland default?

    Australia would have come through the GFC much better if we didn't have a government intent on closing major industry, while at the same time masking the key economic data by use of set top boxes, pink batts and the like.
    This is in contrast to the Iceland experience. They actually encouraged development of the resources sector at a time when it was most needed.
    Anonymous
    12th Feb 2016
    8:00am
    Australia would have come through the GFC much better if the Howard government didn't squander the boom profits giving big handouts to the rich that they KNEW we couldn't sustain when the boom ended, but they also KNEW the government wouldn't be able to wind back when necessary.

    Labor was stuck with huge obligations of charity to the wealthy, and THAT's what every intelligent Australian knows was our problem in the GFC, Frank. Nothing to do with a piddling little waste on pink batts or set top boxes, however unfortunate and stupid those exercises were.
    Happy Jack
    8th Feb 2016
    10:25pm
    If in fact the outcome of the tax review does result in an increase in tax on super wether it be on contributions or earnings will be as a result of this goverment being dragged kicking and screaming by a switched on electorate who are kept informed, like never before, by modern media. No longer can we be brainwashed and bullshitted too,like the good old days. This
    LIEberal has been fighting a rearguard action to protect the financial interests of their high end of town supporters. Look at the news today of a friend of a LIEeral party member donating
    2 million, yes 2 million to the LIEberal party. My question is, what's expected in return?
    MICK
    9th Feb 2016
    3:05am
    It never changes. Liberal Party stooges claim there is no corruption in the Party but if it were possible to look at where funding is coming from you'd likely uncover the biggest nest of rats ever seen in this country.
    I find it ironic that Abbott initiated a Royal Commission witch hunt whilst not revealing the nature of funding for his Party. Not surprising really from a pollie who lied his way in and had no credibility of any kind whilst in office.
    WE NEED A FEDERAL OMBUDSMAN TO CONTROL THE BIG END OF TOWN FROM MAKING CORRUPT DEAL WITH GOVERNMENTS. Watch the rats avoid that one.
    eggles01
    9th Feb 2016
    12:49am
    i am 73yrs and i do believe there should be an increase in the gst it can be handled very well with compensation to the low income and those on centrelink the idea i have come up with will also put money back into the public medical system from those that belong to the private medical system there are just too many of these people that pay the private medical system and use the public system so they wont have to pay the levee and they abuse the public system because the public system does not have all these extras that they are required to pay under the private system,my idea would mean that any private that used the public system the public system would be able to charge the private companies for their members medical and hospital costs which as i said will allow the hospitals to give a better not great service with this extra money being returned to them,by the way i am on a disability pension and my other income is 42cents interest i receive from my bank deposits each year and i have around $5000 assets,unlike mick and his getup mob i am not rich, if you believe mick is helping you realize anything and you follow his con to you look out or we will have the rudd the dudd and juliar gillard style of government back again look at the mess Australia is in since their reign of terror against democracy,you have to guarantee the mick is either a greens / labor or a member of the get up mob associated with the labor/greens coalition,i and many more of you out there would love to have the money to be a frequent traveller to the us or any other country,this bloke is rich and more than likely gets his money from them
    MICK
    9th Feb 2016
    3:17am
    Your post defies the facts. You make incorrect assertions, ignore history and context and demonise those who act against the interests of the current corrupt government.
    I'll waste my time by expanding:

    1. I am not rich but neither am I poor. Your attack ignores how I reached the place I am in now. You would not have done what I did to get there. It actually costs me personally every time the current government is forced to tighten up on the rich. As it should!

    2. You understand nothing about the GetUp group. It was formed to fight against corrupt governments and the the decisions which citizens do not agree with. It is not rich either. It relies on donations. I donate for some of the causes as it is what upstanding citizens should be doing. Why do you think the GST has been pulled????

    3. Your continued nonsense about the Labor governments did IGNORES the fact that Australia avoided the GFC. Funny how that never seems to come up in your posts. So how many of relatives lost their jobs? I thought so! And while we are at it maybe mention that Abbott removed the Debt Ceiling so that his government could borrow and waste more $billions when the GFC was long done.

    Your post my dear friend is political gah gah stuff. I do not mean to offend but it would be nice if what people wrote actually corresponded to the facts rather than mindless chatter.
    MICK
    9th Feb 2016
    3:20am
    And for the record the only "reign of terror" we have ever seen is from the current government which wants to close down all media outlets which speak against it. That my dear friend is a dictatorship in the making and Labor never ever tried this on. Only Abbott inc. The questions is who owns the current government? There lies the real criminal activity. Unions are a minor player in this landscape and one day the truth will come out.
    Anonymous
    9th Feb 2016
    8:28am
    Mick is right, I'm afraid, eggles01.

    And just to be clear, Morrison stated EMPHATICALLY that the GST increase WOULD NOT INCREASE SPENDING ON HEALTH. It was solely to fund BIG INCOME TAX CUTS.

    As to your comment about the deficit, it is a result of the Howard/Costello government's introduction of huge tax concessions and benefits that went almost exclusively to the richest 20%, NOT anything Labor did. You have it completely wrong on that point, I'm afraid. And there was no ''reign of terror'' under Labor. I don't, personally, much like Labor, but I want them back in now. I want to end the reign of terror of this right wing extremist government and restore confidence, hope, and a social conscience.
    Adrianus
    9th Feb 2016
    10:11am
    eggles01, I agree with you. much of what mick and Rainey post does not make sense because it follows a political ideology.
    We cannot continue to borrow $100m per day. Already we are seeing ratings agencies, Moody's, Standard & Poor downgrading our states and corporates.
    Greg
    9th Feb 2016
    11:52am
    Wow that's one big long sentence.
    MICK
    9th Feb 2016
    2:12pm
    If all else fails Frank then change the subject to avoid the truth.
    Anonymous
    9th Feb 2016
    4:43pm
    Frank, you wouldn't know what ''political ideology'' is! Who is saying we want to borrow $100m per day? Not Mick or I. What we ARE saying is the government needs to tax those who can afford to pay, not continue to destroy the lifestyles of battlers, and with it confidence, hope and incentive.

    It's now being reported that we are spending too little. I wonder why that would be? Could be because those who want to spend don't have enough, and those who are being handed all the goodies have such obscene wealth that they couldn't begin to contemplate ways to spend it. They already have far, far more than they could ever need.

    If we stop handing out to the greedy rich and improve the level of income equality, the economy can grow again. It's interesting that wealth equality was at it's highest in the early '60s, when thing were going great. It was relatively good from 51 to 71. There is a direct correlation between a stagnating economy and huge wealth inequality, which might explain why we are stagnating now.

    It's NOT about debt or deficit. Even Morrison admits that. He wanted to raise the GST to give BIG TAX CUTS to the big end of town - not to reduce the deficit or to restore spending on health and education. It was all about giving more to the greedy rich. He admitted it freely.
    Adrianus
    10th Feb 2016
    11:18am
    Yes Rainey you and mick want us to keep borrowing $100m per day.
    I have not heard that Morrison "wants to give big tax cuts to the big end of town" that is simply political jargon.
    What I have heard is that they want to give tax cuts to workers and small business so that those sectors do more spending.
    After all they are the ones with the positive cash flow.
    Labor policy differs in that Labor would rather send cheques to people who they think may vote for them. This sort of gifting served only to pay down credit card debt and force Gerry Harvey to import more TV's. But that's the game in politics, have a fix which lasts no longer than the next election if you're facing a hammering.
    Anonymous
    12th Feb 2016
    8:27am
    Frank, I want us to STOP borrowing, and I believe Mick does too. You don't get it, do you. You are so tunnel visioned and lacking in comprehension that you just keep harping on that one LIE about our focus and can't get it thru your thick head that
    (a) The LNP is INFLATING the debt, NOT reducing it
    (b) The LNP (under Howard) CREATED the problem
    (c) You can't FIX the debt by asking people who don't have enough to live on to give up more so that people who have plenty can keep it!

    Labor DOES NOT send cheques to people it thinks may vote for them. What utter nonsense! (I know, because I was needier than most and I have NEVER gotten a handout of any kind from Labor! And I certainly would have switched my vote if I'd thought I'd get some fair help to deal with the cruel hardships I was suffering - mostly due to bureaucratic corruption and incompetence - corruption and incompetence by the people the LNP looks after generously!)

    Labor recognizes that a healthy society is a healthy economy, and the greedy rich need to pay their fair share of tax to sustain the nation. Labor understands that the money to pay the debt is in the bank accounts of the rich and selfish, and it's there because they don't pay a fair share of tax. Like you, they demand that we stop supporting the needy and funding services and let the ''lifters'' of this nation wallow in misery so the rich can get fatter.

    We are paying out more in superannuation tax concessions than in old age pensions, and 80% of those concessions go to the richest 20% of the population. THAT'S our problem. That, and allowing profit-shifting by global corporations to cheat the nation of billions in tax revenue, and allowing huge capital gains tax concessions and negative gearing and off-shore investment and all those other rich-man's rorts to deprive us of the tax revenue needed to ensure that EVERY Australian has an opportunity to enjoy good health, opportunity, sustenance through periods of crisis, and comfort in old age.

    What we need today is innovative solutions, not more of the same CRAP the bone-headed privileged peddle because it serves their selfish interests.

    We are in a technology phase that is reducing work, so we need to cut working hours and years - NOT extend them - so the opportunities and technology profits are shared among those capable of working and the non-workers are the old (who've done their bit already) and parents and carers who can contribute constructively to society WITHOUT doing paid work, and they are rewarded properly for their contribution to society. If we keep up the them and us mentality, the economy will collapse (as is happening, actually, as a direct result of that greedy mentality!)

    We need to foster saving habits and encourage investment. Of course the stock market will collapse when you force those who save and invest to take their money out to live on because their returns can never cover living costs. It's not about paying pensions to millionaires, it's about common-sense recognition that a million is no longer much for a retiree with 30 years of non-earning ahead, and we need to ensure there are incentives for people to save. Taking from strugglers who earned a decent retirement to fund continued handouts to wealthy superannuants is just STUPID and of course it will collapse the economy!

    We need to stop this ridiculous over-valuation of pieces of paper that are obtained by ticking boxes in absurd multiple choice exams and start recognizing the innovation capacity of people who never got the chance at education or skills training, but taught themselves the hard way and can SOLVE PROBLEMS (because that's what they HAD to do to survive!)

    We need to stop fostering and feeding greed and selfishness and start using common sense, restoring compassion and a social conscience, and getting creative with real solutions.

    I agree that the game in politics is vote-winning. And I don't like a lot of Labor policies. In fact, I've voted LNP all my life until now. But we HAVE to get rid of this toxic government that is only focused on feeding the rich and greedy. It's not about the debt. NEITHER party knows how to fix that. It will be fixed when society is fixed and incentive and opportunity and confidence and hope are restored.

    In the last six years we've gone from some 360 people holding half the world's wealth to about 60. You can't keep transferring wealth to the rich and greedy and expect an economy to thrive. The rich horde. The poor spend. We NEED spending - sensible spending, with incentives to save sensibly so as not to be too dependent on taxpayers in tough times, but spending that generates growth. Not hoarding by the rich that stifles everything.

    The ''let them eat cake'' philosophy was proven flawed. Just because you love the LNP doesn't mean they can make it work, Frank.
    Happy Jack
    9th Feb 2016
    5:34am
    I have a slight suspicion about eggles01! Has germsjerk69 had a name change or is this character some relation of his. There has to be a connection somehow. Take a look at the very poor standard of English, there's something smelly about this.
    Anonymous
    9th Feb 2016
    8:35am
    You could be right, Happy Jack. Eggles01 uses the same flawed logic and peddles the same incorrect claims, as well as writing in the same poor English.

    9th Feb 2016
    8:34am
    The author asks "Do you think that making the tax rate on superannuation contributions the same for all is a step in the right direction? Does it go far enough? Is it more acceptable than a rise in and/or an extension of the GST?''

    The proposal isn't to make the tax rate on superannuation contributions the same for all. It is the same now. The proposal is to make the benefit of the concession equal for all - by changing the tax rate on contributions from a flat 15c in the dollar to 15c LESS than the maximum rate the contributor is taxed on their other income. That is certainly much, much fairer. No, it doesn't go far enough, but it's a good start, and a far better way to raise money than extending the GST, which transfers the burden from the well off to the battlers.

    Why should anyone oppose such a measure, claiming it won't help low income earners? It WILL help low income earners by raising an extra $6 billion without slugging them with higher taxes or taking more welfare away. But it seems this government has to find any pathetic excuse to talk down proposals that properly address unfairness in the system and make the wealthy pay more. Sad!
    Adrianus
    9th Feb 2016
    10:15am
    "Do you think that making the tax rate on superannuation contributions the same for all is a step in the right direction?"
    Making it the same? Does that mean dropping the 30% for High income earners down to 15%?
    Anonymous
    9th Feb 2016
    7:48pm
    Wouldn't you just love that, Frank? No end to the greed of the well-to-do, is there?
    Adrianus
    9th Feb 2016
    7:54pm
    I think it would be wrong, but I don't have hate in my heart for the wealthy as you do. I treat each person as I meat them. I respect people for their circumstances and how they have handled them.
    Anonymous
    12th Feb 2016
    8:34am
    That's crap, Frank. You don't treat people with respect at all. You make wild assumptions that have no validity and then accuse them of dishonesty and selfishness based on those wrong assumptions!

    I don't have any hate in my heart for anyone - least of all the wealthy. But I'm disgusted that so many of the wealthy in this country think it's okay to demand more and more and refuse to pay their fair share of taxes. I'm disgusted that anyone could oppose a suggestion that high income earners shouldn't get concessions for contributions to super funds in which they have accumulated massive wealth. And I'm disgusted that anyone could think profit-shifting and off-shore investing and other rorts to avoid tax in your own country is anything other than contemptible and disgusting.

    Sorry, I do have hate in my heart - for anyone who thinks it's okay to continue the current LNP attitude of cutting social services and pensions for the needy to keep giving handouts to the rich and greedy. I hate anyone who engages in rorts to avoid a fair tax burden and anyone who endorses that behaviour. I hate anyone who thinks it's okay to deprive battlers of a decent standard of living and hard workers of the rewards of their effort, while handing out taxpayer dollars to people who have no need of them.
    Adrianus
    12th Feb 2016
    11:13am
    LOL, Rainey at least you are consistent. So you hate anyone who deprives battlers of a decent standard of living.
    Bet you cant bring yourself to say "Hate" and "Bill Shorten" in the same sentence. I know you've said many times that you are a LNP voter from way back, but how do you reconcile the Clean Event activity?
    petes2506
    9th Feb 2016
    10:51am
    Beware the Ides of March...
    Although the Government has said we may not get a GST rise.... They have not said that they will broaden the base.

    It's what they don't say that is dangerous.

    Many Australians thought that they would get a cut in income tax if we got a GST. All we got was EXTRA tax. Cuts to personal tax for lower income earners will not help pensioners who don't earn enough to pay tax if we allow any change to the GST.
    MICK
    9th Feb 2016
    2:17pm
    That's it pete. This greedy government wants MORE MONEY. Well they all do to be honest.
    If people think they are going to be paying less they are pretty simple as that is not the game. The aim is to tax most of us and give the big end big tax cuts. As if the bastards do not earn enough already and as if the big end pays reasonable taxes. The national disgrace!
    As for the GST nobody should even consider that this is gone. For the same reason that WorkChoices is still hard at work the big business owned government will not shelve it's intention of money redistribution to the rich. That much you can bank on.
    Anonymous
    9th Feb 2016
    4:36pm
    Morrison is still determined to get the GST increase in, and says it is absolutely NOT to fund health and education, but to give BIG income tax cuts to companies and high income earners. (Well, it wouldn't e to give BIG cuts to low income earners, would it? They don't pay enough for any cut -even to $0 - to be BIG. And this government is only concerned with pleasing the greedy rich.
    Supernan
    9th Feb 2016
    12:31pm
    The fact that GST rises are possibly off the table shows that when enough people campaign about bad decisions ahead of them happening, politicians back down. Thank you GetUp ! Cant comment on super for low income earners. we could never afford any - cost too much to pay Staff Super !

    Never had $100,000 per year joint earnings in our life. Yet own a house, cars & have no debts. Of couse people should pay tax on those kind of earnings. Normal wage earners pay heaps at that level.
    eggles01
    9th Feb 2016
    2:47pm
    hi supernan (not super brain) the reason that the gst was dropped would have been they realized it was a bad policy to go to the polls with, don't you know that ALL parties release policies to see what the reaction is from the voters,as i said getup is only a labor/greens booster, the last few elections i have seen the getup at the voting venues and all they tell people is to vote for the labor/greens parties as their policies are better,when you next go to vote make sure it is a large venue and take note of the groups that are not standing for election and are handing out pamphlets/advice on how to vote for the labor party.
    Supernan
    9th Feb 2016
    12:31pm
    The fact that GST rises are possibly off the table shows that when enough people campaign about bad decisions ahead of them happening, politicians back down. Thank you GetUp ! Cant comment on super for low income earners. we could never afford any - cost too much to pay Staff Super !

    Never had $100,000 per year joint earnings in our life. Yet own a house, cars & have no debts. Of couse people should pay tax on those kind of earnings. Normal wage earners pay heaps at that level.

    10th Feb 2016
    8:56am
    Well, Turnbull has made it clear that Frank and his mates have got it all upside down. All their ambitious talk about debt and deficit, and he's come right out and declared he ABSOLUTELY IS NOT INTERESTED IN REDUCING IT.

    The LNP is SOLELY focused on INCOME TAX REDUCTION. That is the ONLY focus of their claimed ''tax reform''. No intention to increase the tax take (oh, but, hang on - they want the States to tax us more, so the tax take WILL increase, but the Feds will lie about it!)

    So, all those blind, tunnel-visioned, misled people on here who keep talking about fixing the deficit, reducing the debt, etc. are just that, it appears - blind, tunnel-visioned and misled. The goal is to GIVE MORE TO THE PRIVILEGED. Simple.

    Now, if you are silly enough to believe the ''trickle down theory'' (which has been conclusively proven untrue by the recent economic downturn which clearly followed huge income tax cuts and bigger concessions and handouts to the rich!), you MIGHT be forgiven for being deluded enough to think the LNP's objective is ''growth'' and their tax reform ideas have merit. But even Turnbull admitted the proposed GST hike would only yield about 1/2% short term growth at best, and it ''was not worth the effort''.

    Now they propose to tinker, quite minimally, with superannuation concessions, which we all know need serious attention because they are costing more than the old age pension.

    But isn't it funny how TAXPAYER'S money spent gifting to the well-off to give them a comfy retirement is somehow THEIR money to do with as they wish, and untouchable, but a much smaller amount of taxpayer's money spent supporting aged folk who have worked their guts out all their lives for far less than they are worth IS taxpayer's money and recipients should be treated like third class citizens and denied anything more than subsistence support?

    Anyone who supports this philosophy is sick in the head - but then, greed and selfishness do make you sick in the head. That's an irrefutable fact.
    ex PS
    10th Feb 2016
    8:07pm
    Rainey, I agree with most of what you said, but I must say that as with the ALP, the sole mission of the LNP is to win the next election and they will sell out any so called values in order to do so.
    We are being treated with cnotempt by the so alled major political organisations and need to teach them a lesson.
    Anonymous
    12th Feb 2016
    8:37am
    Quite right, exPS. I agree totally. And I don't really like Labor much better than the LNP. But HOW do we teach them a lesson. The current system restricts our choices. If we vote independent or minor party, we risk putting the party we want least into power. It's a crap system, and it needs to be changed, but I can't see how that's going to happen (other than a revolution, which I'd hate to see!)


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