Minister accused of hypocrisy over super comments

The Australian

24 April 2018

Glenda Korporaal

You no longer deserve to be known as the member for Higgins, you should be known as the member for Hypocrisy.

Superannuation lobby group Save Our Super has accused the Federal Revenue and Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer of hypocrisy with her comments that the Turnbull government would “deliver certainty and stability” for people saving for their retirement.

In an open letter to the minister, the member for the federal seat of Higgins where the organisation is based, Save Our Super says Ms O’Dwyer was a key player in delivering changes to superannuation which “delivered uncertainty and instability” to the system.

“Australians can no longer plan for their retirement,” the letter says.

The letter, being sent to members this week, is written by Save Our Super founders, retired Melbourne barrister Jack Hammond QC and former insurance broker John McMurrick.

The letter challenges comments made by Ms O’Dwyer in a recent speech and in a letter to her constituents which sought to contrast the policies of the Labor and Coalition parties on superannuation going into next year’s election.

In her letter, Ms O’Dwyer said the Liberal Party stood for Australians who worked hard to build a better future for themselves. “Our superannuation system must reward people who save for their future,” she wrote.

In her recent speech to a conference in Sydney, Ms O’Dwyer said the government’s superannuation policy “delivers certainty and stability so Australians can plan for their retirement in confidence”.

The Save Our Super group was set up in 2016 in the wake of the federal government’s changes to the superannuation system announced in the 2016 budget.

The changes, which involved new limits on the amount of money that can be put into superannuation as well as a $1.6 million cap on the amount of money that can go into a tax-free superannuation pension account, came into effect in July last year.

While the government said only a small percentage of people would be harmed by the changes, Save Our Super has been vocal critic of the measures, arguing they have affected a much broader range of people saving for retirement.

The organisation argues that any changes to the superannuation system should have been grandfathered.

The government argues that the budget changes were needed to make the system fairer and more sustainable.