Coalition facing internal backlash on super changes, says Labor
The shadow assistant treasurer told SMSF Adviser that both the Coalition’s own backbench and donor base have voiced concerns over the potential for the Coalition’s proposals for super to have "significantly adverse effects" on the Australian public.
Speaking to SMSF Adviser, shadow assistant treasurer Dr Andrew Leigh said the Coalition is facing the consequences of its failure to undertake proper consultation with industry before announcing its proposals for superannuation.
"We’ve been very clear, as has the Henry Review and a range of other reviews, that our tax concessions for super aren’t fair and aren’t sustainable but in changing those you’ve got to work really carefully, consult with industry, announce well ahead of time, and make sure you’ve got a clear transition path," said Dr Leigh.
"The government has thrown these changes on the Australian people in the budget that just came down a month ago, and they’re paying the price for that lack of consultation."
Dr Leigh said there are concerns within the industry that the number of people affected by the transition to retirement changes could be five times as large as the number estimated by the government.
"There are [also] concerns among the Coalition backbench and their donor base that there may be problems that the $1.6 million cap, and the $500,000 cap on non-concessional contributions may have significantly adverse effects," he said.
"None of them were signalled before budget night, we didn’t get a clear conversation from the government about what they intended to change and how, which would have led smoothly to a set of precise reforms on budget night, it was all just thrown on the Australian people."
The Labor proposal to tax earnings over $75,000 he argued had the advantage of "being a prospective measure that won’t force anyone to take money out of their superannuation accounts".
"We’ll consult on the government’s proposals, we’ll do the consultation now, which [the Coalition] didn’t do until they had announced them, and we’ll come out with a clear position on all these superannuation issues before the election."
Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.
Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates. Miranda has also directed SMSF Adviser's print publication for several years.
Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.