Category: Features

Labor’s Pensioner Guarantee for dividend imputation credits

27 March 2018

Sourced from:
– https://www.alp.org.au/pensioner_guarantee_fact_sheet (no longer available)
https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/australianlaborparty/pages/7652/attachments/original/1522101043/180327_Fact_Sheet_Pensioner_Guarantee.pdf?1522101043

Treasurer Scott Morrison’s taxing our nerves with his super fibs

The Australian

27 August 2016

Grace Collier Columnist Melbourne @MsGraceCollier

According to a Coalition insider, years ago our federal treasurer at the time, Peter Costello, completely “stuffed up” our superannuation system. Until recently, this theory was completely unknown to me, and probably is news to you, too. You may have thought, as I did, that Costello was the last competent treasurer this nation had.

In any case, we were all wrong; apparently Costello was an irresponsible galoot. And unless our stuffed superannuation system is fixed, Scott Morrison said on radio this week, he will find it pretty hard to look his “kids in the eye and tell them they’ve got to saddle a higher debt because someone who had a very big income wanted to pay less tax”.

This “someone” with a “very big income” who wants to “pay less tax” is how the Treasurer refers nowadays to self-funded retirees. Earlier this month, he told listeners of radio station 5AA there were 6000 of them with superannuation balances of more than $5 million. One might expect a Liberal politician to praise these people, hold them up as role models and publicly thank them for staying off the public purse. After all, they have done exactly what various governments through many years have wanted them to do, and none of us will have to lift a finger to support them.

But no, Morrison — who often sounds more like a socialist than those on the left of the Labor Party — spoke about these people as though they were selfish tax dodgers. If one picks up Morrison’s vibe, the existence of these 6000 people is evidence the superannuation system is stuffed and the reason we are in debt and on the cusp of losing our triple-A credit rating.

The nation’s debt is of no concern to many Australian adults. Would Morrison’s children really lie awake at night worrying about it? And is the amount of money Morrison is planning to collect from his superannuation “reforms” going to help much? After all, the net savings are a mere 0.16 per cent of total government receipts across the forward estimates.

Regardless, the Treasurer needn’t worry about what to say to the children. He can just do to them what he does to us: say any old thing, no matter how obviously untrue, over and over, like a commission-only sales rep. Come to think of it, Morrison could just tell his kids there is no public debt at all.

Thanks to the website saveoursuper.org.au, we can see what the Treasurer said just last year about how the government would never, ever do what he said Labor would do, which is exactly what the government is going to do now: tax the income from people’s superannuation savings accounts.

Radio 3AW, June 19 last year: “Well, we do want to encourage everyone … to be saving for their retirement and … we don’t want to tax you, like (Labor’s treasury spokesman) Chris Bowen does.”

Radio 2GB, May 25 last year: “My own view is … I don’t want to tax people more when they’re basically investing for their own future … That’s why I think Chris Bowen’s idea … of … taxing superannuation incomes is a bad idea. I don’t support it.”

Question time, May 25 last year: “And when they get into their retirement, we are going to make sure that their hard-earned savings in their superannuation will not be the subject of the tax slug that those opposite want to impose, those opposite see it as a tax nest — a tax nest for those to plunder. What we will do for them is: we will not tax them.”

3AW, May 18, last year: “It’s the Labor Party who wants to tax superannuation, not the Liberal Party, particularly the incomes of superannuants …”

Doorstop, May 8 last year: “The government has made it crystal clear that we have no interest in increasing taxes on superannuation either now or in the future … unlike Labor, we are not coming after people’s superannuation.”

Press conference, May 7 last year: “What we are not going to do is we are not going to tax those savings like Bill Shorten wants to do. That is the difference, we will not tax your super, Bill Shorten will … we are not going to increase those taxes … nothing we have done with the Greens has in any way changed the government’s position on not taxing your super. We will not tax your super.”

ABC’s AM, May 5 last year: “What is not fair is if you save for your retirement and you create yourself a superannuation nest egg and the government then comes along and taxes that income, which is what Labor are proposing to do.”

3AW, May 1 last year: “The government does not support Labor’s proposal to tax superannuants more on the income they have generated for their retirement.”

For those on the other side of this debate and supportive of the government’s changes, remember this: people who aim to fund their own retirements are not angry about having to pay more tax. These people are well accustomed to paying for everyone else; they have done it all their lives. They are angry because they have been lied to by Morrison, and when he isn’t boasting about how he has caused the value of Australia’s largest pastoral company to plummet, he runs around the place insulting and degrading successful savers, the people he should be praising.

In my opinion the man is dangerous and not fit to be Treasurer. And the next election cannot come soon enough.

Superannuation: Coalition guided by leftie Grattan Institute

20 August 2016

Grace Collier Columnist Melbourne @MsGraceCollier

Sacre bleu! In recent weeks, while defending the government’s superannuation policy in the media, Scott Morrison has morphed from a future prime minister into a dogmatic zealot.

Meanwhile in Canberra an under-the-carpet consultation process has begun. Coalition MPs are being canvassed by the party hierarchy about the superannuation “reforms” in an attempt to gauge the level of support or resistance before the changes are put to the house.

Will MPs vote for the policy or cross the floor and vote against it? The only MP who said he would cross the floor, George Christensen, has been made a whip, so does that mean he has been bought off?

And if the superannuation policy does pass the lower house, will some sage operators in the Senate threaten to block the Australian Building and Construction Commission bill and force the government to change the policy anyway, and thus make a fool of the wimps who voted for it?

These are the important questions of our time.

Typically, among Liberal MPs courage seems to be in short supply. Apart from one exception, who floored me by asking, “Why should we tax people less just because they’re old?”, every MP I spoke with thinks the policy is appalling and must be immediately sunk — by someone else.

Meanwhile, looking on is the base: the Liberal rank and file, the members, the donors and the volunteers. Here is where fury and despair remain widespread. Policymakers needn’t panic, this is not about the desire to avoid tax. Everyone knows half the households in this country are addicted to their welfare — er, “transfer payments” — and someone has to pay for that.

Out there in the real world, among half of us at least, there is acceptance we are compelled to work to fund the necessities of life, such as family tax benefits to the middle class, corporate welfare, politicians’ entitlements, education industry rorts, childcare scams and the installation of squat toilets in the Australian Taxation Offices. The only fly in the ointment is that the Coalition’s superannuation policy is terrible. Labor’s superannuation policy is better.

I am told that before the election, cabinet waved the policy through simply because nobody understood it and time constraints were pressing. Indeed, the policy is complex, contradictory and bizarre.

There is a cap of $1.6 million, yet hardly anyone is allowed to get to that cap unless they inherit wealth or something like that. Most MPs don’t understand their own policy, let alone where it came from — a publicly funded left-wing think tank, the Grattan Institute. Its report Super Tax Targeting is sexist and ageist. It urges the government to take money off “rich old men” who don’t need it and are committing “intergenerational theft” anyway via their superannuation accounts. Further, self-funded retirees should be aware the authors of the report — John Daley, Brendan Coates and Danielle Wood — regard them as greedy pigs.

Look at the report’s cover, pictured below.

grattaninstitutereportimage

Sceptics who doubt the Liberals would be so foolish as to adopt the institute’s leftist agenda should seek out the report on Google and read just the first page.

Back in June, when a public furore broke out about the policy, the institute put out a media release by Daley and Coates. It was titled “Tax-free super is intergenerational theft” and said: “A number of politicians have struggled this week to explain the Turnbull government’s proposed changes to superannuation … this complexity explains why intergenerational ‘theft’ through superannuation has continued for so long. No one has ever explained why we should have an age-based tax system … some of these voters are now objecting vociferously to losing their privileges but they were never justified in the first place.”

I sent off emails asking the Coalition powers-that-be to deny their superannuation policy was based on or informed by the report, and whether they deny meeting the authors. The Treasurer and Revenue and Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer declined to offer a denial and sent back a statement saying they talked to everyone.

Greedy pigs on the cover of the Grattan Institute report

The Grattan Institute was formed in 2008 and $30 million of taxpayer funds has been given to it.

It is housed in taxpayer-funded accommodation at the University of Melbourne and is crammed to the rafters with ex-Labor staff. All of this, in itself, is not such a bad thing. What is life without diversity? We can’t all be productive members of society. But the problem is that a body such as this shouldn’t be setting Coalition policy.

How on earth did this happen? Who knows, but the PM and his wife are listed on the “Friends of Grattan” web page as individual financial supporters. Further, Lucy Turnbull has been on the board since December 2012. So in the absence of any other rational explanation for the Liberals’ superannuation madness, there is always that.

We remind Scott Morrison of his broken “tax-free super” promises

4 May 2019 – Due to an inadvertent transposition, the quotes in this document do not match the proper source. We have corrected the document. The update can be found here:

We remind Scott Morrison of his broken “tax-free super” promises – Updated 4 May 2019

Email dated 16 July 2016 from Save Our Super to Treasurer Scott Morrison in lead up to the Liberal Federal Parliamentary Party meeting to be held on Monday 18 July 2016:

Dear Mr Morrison,

I write to you in your capacity as the Treasurer in the second Turnbull L/NP Coalition Government.

This email relates to the superannuation issue. Therefore, if possible, would you please read it before the Liberal Federal Parliamentary Party meeting to be held in Parliament House, Canberra next Monday 18 July 2016. It may go a long way to explain the anger and dismay felt by many Liberal Party/National Party members and conservative supporters of the L/NP Coalition. I am one of many.

I am a Melbourne QC. I live in Kelly O’Dwyer’s electorate of Higgins in Victoria.

Also, I am the founder of Save Our Super; see: http://saveoursuper.org.au . A brief biography of my background can be found on that website under “Our People”.

Save Our Super is an organisation I formed as a consequence of the Government’s current superannuation policies. Those policies were announced by you on 3 May 2016, when you delivered Budget 2016 on behalf of the first Turnbull L/NP Coalition Government.

It is no understatement to say that those policies were sprung on the Australian public without notice or any real consultation. They were not “evidence-based” public policies by any reasonable use of that term.

Moreover, they were, and remain, in direct contradiction to that which you had told the Australian public on many occasions prior to you delivering Budget 2016.

You made at least 12 “tax-free superannuation” promises in May-June 2015, and in your Address on 18 February 2016 to the Self-Managed Superannuation Funds National Conference in Adelaide. You gave that Address less than three months before you delivered Budget 2016 on behalf of the L/NP Coalition Government.

We have posted them on Save Our Super’s website; (see under the tab “Scott Morrison’s tax-free super” for the source; and see under the category  “Quotes” for the full Address and source).

I have set them out below for your convenience.

You are the one most likely to be accepted by the Governor-General as the Treasurer in the second L/NP Coalition Turnbull Government in about a week’s time.

We believe you should be reminded of your broken promises, at least for the purpose of the forthcoming Liberal Federal Parliamentary Party meeting to be held in Parliament House, Canberra next Monday 18 July 2016.

Scott Morrison’s 12 tax-free superannuation promises : May to June 2015

3AW – 19 June 2015

MINISTER MORRISON: Well we do want to encourage everyone … to be saving for their retirement and particularly when you are drawing down on that when you are retired we don’t want to tax you like Chris Bowen does.

2GB – 25 May 2015

My own view is that the superannuation system, for example, meant I don’t want to tax people more when they’re basically investing for their own future… That’s why I think Chris Bowen’s idea, …of …taxing superannuation incomes, is a bad idea, I don’t support it…

Question Time – 25 May 2015

And when they get into their retirement, we are going to make sure that their hard-earned savings in their superannuation will not be the subject of the tax slug that those opposite want to impose, … Those opposite see it as a tax nest—a tax nest for those to plunder.

The shadow minister earlier referred to ‘trousering’. The ‘trouser bandit’ sits over there because he, together with the shadow Treasurer, wants to come after the hard-earned superannuation savings…

What we will do for them is: we will not tax them like the ‘trouser bandit’ opposite.

3AW – 18 May 2015

It’s the Labor Party who wants to tax superannuation, not the Liberal Party, particularly the incomes of superannuants and I think that’s a fairly stark contrast that’s emerging.

Doorstop – 8 May 2015

The Government has made it crystal clear that we have no interest in increasing taxes on superannuation either now or in the future.

… unlike Labor, we are not coming after people’s superannuation…

Press Conference – 7 May 2015

MINISTER MORRISON: What we are not going to do is we are not going to tax those savings, like Bill Shorten wants to do. That is the difference, we will not tax your super, Bill Shorten will.

MINISTER MORRISON: Yes, and there are other taxation arrangements that apply to superannuation already and we are not going to increase those taxes as the Labor Party does and nothing we have done with the Greens has in any way changed the Government’s position on not taxing your super. We will not tax your super.

ABC AM – 5 May 2015

…what is not fair is if you save for your retirement and you create yourself a superannuation nest egg and the Government then comes along and taxes that income; which is what Labor are proposing to do.

ABC RN – 5 May 2015

We don’t think that people who have done that should be punished with higher taxes, Bill Shorten does, and so does Chris Bowen and I think that’s a stark difference between the Government and the Opposition on these issues.

3AW – 1 May 2015

The Government does not support Labor’s proposal to tax superannuants more on the income they have generated for their retirement.”

Australians “… spooked out of… their [superannuation] investment” – Scott Morrison

Treasurer Scott Morrison, 18 February 2016

“One of our key drivers when contemplating potential superannuation reforms is stability and certainty, especially in the retirement phase. That is good for people who are looking 30 years down the track and saying is superannuation a good idea for me? If they are going to change the rules at the other end when you are going to be living off it then it is understandable that they might get spooked out of that as an appropriate channel for their investment. That is why I fear that the approach of taxing in that retirement phase penalises Australians who have put money into superannuation under the current rules – under the deal that they thought was there. It may not be technical retrospectivity but it certainly feels that way. It is effective retrospectivity, the tax technicians and superannuation tax technicians may say differently.”

In light of the above, how can the public trust anything you say in future, let alone superannuants and those who advise others regarding superannuation?

As to the latter, see Jim Brownlee’s letter set out below; (see under “Letters to Save Our Super”, and Save Our Super’s Disclosure).

“Government Destroys Financial Adviser’s Trust in Superannuation

26 June 2016

I have been an ASIC-registered Financial Adviser for more than three decades. Over that time, I have provided my clients with retirement-planning advice. I have promoted the Government’s (both Liberal and Labor) carrot and stick message of (1), the increased long-term vulnerability of the aged-pension and, (2), tax concessions specifically structured to encourage self-funding superannuation retirement savings.

ASIC requires me to give my clients a Statement of Advice (“SoA”). It sets out the Government’s superannuation tax incentives. Those tax incentives underpin my SoA’s recommendations. They are crucial to the client’s decision. I am invariably asked “What happens if the Government changes things?”. UntiI now, I have always answered: “In my long-term experience, Governments have always ‘grandfathered-in’ protection for existing arrangements.”  

But Treasurer Scott Morrison, in his May 2016 Budget, changed all that.

Last year, before that Budget, he said to the Australian people:

“The Government has made it crystal clear that we have no interest in increasing taxes on superannuation either now or in the future.

… unlike Labor, we are not coming after people’s superannuation…”

Not only did the Government not do what the Treasurer promised, they did precisely what the Treasurer promised that the Government would not do.

The Government came after people’s superannuation and announced proposed increased taxes on superannuation.

Furthermore, the Treasurer added insult to injury. He announced those increased taxes without also announcing that Australians who had acted in good faith and saved for their retirement under the then existing rules, would have their superannuation savings protected by grandfathering.

What am I supposed to tell my clients now, when they ask me, as they will, “What happens if the Government changes things?

Am I now to say, “Well, I remember the Liberal Government’s May 2016 Budget. I wouldn’t put my savings into superannuation because you can’t trust the Government not to change the rules, and not protect your savings by grandfathering the existing rules”.

Jim Brownlee

Authorised Financial Adviser Representative.

Berwick, Victoria”

Please let me know your view of the Government’s current superannuation policies and the outcome of the meeting next Monday, 18 July 2016. I intend to publish this email and any replies I receive on Save Our Super’s website.

If you wish to raise with me any aspects of the Government’s current superannuation policies, or any suggested changes to those policies, I am only too happy to discuss them with you.

Please feel free to contact me on 0400 — — or by email on jack.hammond@saveoursuper.org.au

Regards,

Jack Hammond QC

http://saveoursuper.org.au

jack.hammond@saveoursuper.org.au

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