Labor has criticised Treasurer Scott Morrison, after he reportedly distributed a briefing paper to Coalition MPs advocating for the superannuation changes announced in the 2016 Budget.
Update: the Government has released the first tranche of superannuation legislation for the changes announced in the 2016 Budget.
“Treasurer Scott Morrison’s humiliation at the hands of his backbench has deepened today, with news he has resorted to shopping around a PowerPoint presentation to convince the Liberal party room to support his superannuation plans, four months after they were published in the Budget,” said ALP Shadow Minister for Small Business and Financial Services, Senator Katy Gallagher.
“In the four months since Scott Morrison first floated his plans to tackle unfair superannuation tax breaks, the Treasurer still hasn’t convinced his Coalition colleagues to back them, much less worked out how to legislate them in the Parliament.”
“Releasing a PowerPoint presentation instead of legislation makes a mockery of the importance of these reforms and confirms everyone’s thoughts that this is a Government in office but not in power.”
“Scott Morrison needs to stop with the stunts and release the government’s superannuation tax legislation.”
The Treasurer had said that it will be several weeks after Parliament first sits before draft legislation is released. However recent reports are that draft legislation for some of the changes will be released on Wednesday the 7th of September.
Superannuation continues to be an issue amongst parts of the Coalition backbench. Former PM Tony Abbott reportedly confronted Treasurer Scott Morrison over the changes. Senator Abetz has said that the changes are the start of a “slippery slope”, while MP George Christensen has threatened to cross the floor over the superannuation measures.
In a press conference the Treasurer was asked if he was frustrated by the resistance from the Coalition backbench. He answered: “No, look, I’m never frustrated by democracy. I think it’s a good thing. I think it’s good that we have discussions and consultations on these issues and I thank my colleagues for the very good-faith nature in which they’ve engaged with this process. Government is about making difficult choices on difficult issues. We’ve made some difficult choices on this particular matter. We put it in the Budget. It is addressing a large number of very important challenges facing Australia. ”
The ALP have proposed that the $500,000 lifetime non-concessional contributions cap be made prospective from Budget night. Others, including members of the Coalition, have called for the cap to be raised, potentially to $1 million. It also remains unclear what exemptions from the lifetime cap will be allowed.