Treasurer Scott Morrison signals softer superannuation stance

The Age

8  August 2016

Peter Martin

Scott Morrison’s super warning

It would cost half-a-billion dollars to abandon superannuation changes announced in the budget – and the ratings agencies are unlikely to react well, warns Scott Morrison. Courtesy ABC News 24.

“One of them, if you get a pay-out as a result of an accident or something like that, then that is exempted from the $500,000 cap,” he said. “If you have entered into a contract before budget night to settle on a property asset out of your self-managed super fund and you are using after-tax contributions to settle that contract – well, that won’t be included.”

Other measures would be in the exposure draft of the legislation that would be released shortly.
Related Content

Morrison outspends Hockey in $11,625 budget night knees-up

Labor says it will oppose the $500,000 lifetime cap if it is found to be retrospective. But its superannuation spokesman, Jim Chalmers, says he will consider supporting it if an independent review finds in its favour.

Mr Morrison said he would be most unlikely to lift the $500,000 limit.

“I don’t know too many people out there who are sitting there with a bag of $500,000, which they want to put in their superannuation fund,” he said. “They are on higher incomes, have higher balances, have already benefited significantly from the generous tax contribution and other concessions, and the argument they are making is: ‘I want to put more in so I don’t have to pay as much tax as someone else is on those earnings’.

“I am saying we should be getting rid of the Family Tax Benefit supplement payments every July, and that is to people who earn a lot less than those who are able to put half a million dollars after tax. How can I look them in the eye and at the same time say: ‘Oh no, I am going to protect this interest over here who is sitting on half a million bucks’.”
Treasurer Scott Morrison says he is prepared to write in exemptions in the superannuation proposals.

Mr Morrison spoke with Senate powerbroker Nick Xenophon and his team in in Adelaide last week and would be meeting with new senators Pauline Hanson and Derryn Hinch. He would impress on them that every savings measure the new Senate rejected would make it harder to retain Australia’s AAA credit rating and get the budget back in to surplus.

“The facts of the Senate are that if Labor and the Greens are blocking government legislation then it only takes the Xenophon Party or the One Nation Party to side with Labor and the Greens and it is blocked,” he said. “Senators will be in a position where they really do have a balance of power. They won’t have the option to say that this is their view and move on.”