Government only started work on super changes in September

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Government, changes to superannuation, September, Tax White Paper process, Scott Morrison, Tony Abbott, Joe HockeyThe Government only started considering changes to superannuation in September, according to the Treasurer, despite the Tax White Paper process.

In an interview with 3AW following his National Press Club address Mr Morrison said:

Now, it was only last September when we started the approach of looking at issues, whether it was superannuation or the GST or other things like that. Those issues were not under consideration before September last year. It was not like they were beavering away on them for two years before that. Those issues only came into consideration in September last year.

September was when Scott Morrison replaced Joe Hockey as Treasurer, following the leadership challenge by Malcolm Turnbull. Joe Hockey had released the Re:think Tax Discussion Paper in March 2015, which was meant to be followed by a Tax Green Paper and a Tax White Paper – a pre-election promise. However, despite superannuation being included in the discussion paper, former PM Tony Abbott increasingly ruled out any changes to superannuation, going so far at one point to say “there’ll be no changes to super, no adverse changes to super in this term of Parliament and we have no plans to make adverse changes to super in the future.”

Mr Morrison later went on social media to clarify his comments, posting on his Facebook page:

Contrary to what has been reported today, my comments regarding work on tax issues that were put back on the table by the Prime Minister for consideration in September, namely superannuation and negative gearing, and that work on the GST followed the matter being raised by the states in August, was not a criticism of Mr Abbott or Mr Hockey, implied or otherwise. It was a simple statement of chronology. The former Prime Minister had been very clear about having ruled those matters out of consideration as he was entitled to do and I make no criticism of his decision.

It was reported in September 2015 that the newly PM Malcolm Turnbull suspended work on the Tax White Paper, though this was denied at the time.

The Tax White Paper process has now been dropped by Malcolm Turnbull, in favour of announcing policy decisions in the upcoming Federal Budget.

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