The Age Businessday
27 July 2017
CBD – Colin Kruger
He may be just weeks away from his 60th birthday, but our former treasurer and Nine Entertainment chairman, Peter Costello, showed he still knows how to play an audience at the Financial Services Council Leaders Summit in Sydney.
Actor Rob Carlton joked in his introduction for Costello that our former treasurer is not an Australian citizen. Costello replied that he had always thought he was an Australian citizen, but he looked into it this morning and discovered he was in fact the son of Bill Gates, and he was going to send him a bill.
Gates turns 62 in October and may be better with his arithmetic than the Future Fund chairman. And if he isn’t, well, he better beware given Costello managed to blow our once-in-a-lifetime mining boom with very little to show for it.
Digging into his trove of political anecdotes, Costello mentioned that the bureaucrats originally proposed to call our bank regulator, APRA, the Australian Prudential Regulation Insurance Commission or APRIC.
He asked them how you’d pronounce it, and they said “a prick”. Costello said he didn’t think that was a good idea.
“I don’t miss politics,” Costello said. “The bad thing about politics is you have to spend a lot of time in Canberra and I don’t miss Canberra. Since I’ve left politics, I think I’ve been back to Canberra three times.”
That may explain why the television networks are having so much trouble getting rid of the licence fees. Honestly, what is Nine paying him $425,000 a year for?
And Costello could not resist a swipe at Malcolm Turnbull’s government and its miserly attitude to superannuation reforms, which kicked in from July 1 this year.
“I don’t see what’s wrong with giving people a tax break to put money into super,” he said. “The government gets it back eventually when you take them off the pension, but that theory seems to have fallen out of favour.”
Is the thought of retirement a little closer to home now that someone is about to turn 60?
(Emphasis added by Save Our Super)