“Some prospect” of deal on Budget super changes, says Jim Chalmers

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Federal Budget 2016/17, Budget 2016, superannuation changes, Government, Opposition, deal, $500,000 lifetime non-concessional contributions capThe Government and the Labor party may come to an agreement on the superannuation changes announced in the 2016 Budget.

Speaking about the superannuation changes with The Guardian, Shadow Minister for Finance, Jim Chalmers, said: “There is some prospect of agreement with the Government”.

‘We’ve flagged what we’re concerned about, which is really the retrospective elements of the package.”

The ALP have been critical some of the 2016 Budget superannuation measures, in particular the lifetime $500,000 non-concessional contributions cap – which, if enacted as announced, would count contributions since 1 July 2007 and could apply penalties for excess contributions made after 7.30pm on the 3rd of May 2016.

“But for some time now we’ve been saying, lets deal with those tax concessions largely at the top end,” Dr Chalmers said.

“So we’ve been as constructive as we can about the Government’s package.”

Dr Chalmers said the Opposition had been critical of the policies, as part of the political process and during the election, along with the “mess” and confusion caused in the community.

“But at the end of the day our task is to come at it constructively, to have an open mind, to try and iron out the bits we think aren’t great, but at the end of the day this might be best opportunity to get some sort of resolution on those very expensive tax breaks at the top end of the superannuation system.”

“So we’ll do what we can. The way we normally describe it is we’ll agree where we can and disagree where we must. But at the end of the day it’s not really about the contest between us and the Government, it’s about getting a good outcome, and I’ve always been relatively confident that we can get a good outcome.”

Asked if there has been discussions between the Government and the Opposition on a potential compromise, Dr Chalmers said the ALP preference would be to have an independent review, “particularly that goes to some of those retrospective elements, cause we think that would be a really good foundation for that conversation”.

“The Government hasn’t come at that proposal so far, and they’ve got some ideas around tinkering with life events, and all those sorts of things.”

The Treasurer has set out some exemptions from the lifetime non-concessional contributions cap, and indicated that the draft legislation would include further exclusions.

“Ideally we’d just get a good, independent assessment of the package in its entirety, and how it interacts with each other, and then we’d have a conversation about that then,” said Dr Chalmers.

“In the absence of that I think the Government knows where we stand on the package.”

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