Arguably retrospective superannuation changes in the 2016 Budget look set to be an election issue.
Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen told the National Press Club that some of the proposed Budget changes are “clearly retrospective”. Though this is denied by members of the Government.
“Scott Morrison denies it. He doesn’t have the courage to call a measure for what it is,” said Mr Bowen.
“But here’s the tip. When a Budget measure introduced in the 2016 Budget mentions that it applies from 2007, it’s retrospective. There’s no getting around it. And it would be better if Scott Morrison simply admitted it.”
“Now you don’t expect the Liberal Government to believe in much, but you expect them to believe in not embracing retrospectivity when it comes to tax laws.”
Mr Bowen said people invested “in good faith” under the laws at the time and retrospective changes undermine confidence in the super system and “scare people away from investing in superannuation in the future”.
He went on to say there is “white hot anger” in the superannuation sector about the lack on consultation on the changes in the 2016 Budget.
Chris Bowen also said the Government doesn’t believe in superannuation and doesn’t believe in increase the Super Guarantee rate to 12%. However he refused to set out Labor’s policy on a timeline to a 12% SG rate, saying only there would be “more to say” in the election campaign.
Meanwhile the Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has said, according to the ABC, that the superannuation changes are not retrospective, : “It is not retrospective, it is absolutely not retrospective, it’s about the tax rate on future earnings.”
However the Government is also apparently open to changes to deal with “unintended consequences”.
“We’ll have a consultation period, we’ll discuss it with the public, we’ll have draft legislation, and we’ll get feedback on any unintended consequences, as one would expect.”
— ABC News (@abcnews) May 11, 2016