The same old dog-eared Liberal Party playbook has been dragged out again with Liberal Party federal director Andrew Hirst warning voters about Labor’s “great big new tax on retirement savings”.
ProMo has embraced the talking points, accusing Labor of wanting to “take to hardworking retirees who’ve done nothing more than do the right thing and save for their retirement and try to get ahead”.
Wasn’t it Scott Morrison’s 2016 budget that caused over 330,000 Age Pensioners to have their entitlements cut with at least 100,000 of those losing all pension entitlements?
And didn’t the then Treasurer for Graphs also try to retrospectively introduce a lifetime cap on non-concessional superannuation contributions (NCC) of $500,000?
When the Coalition attack Labor for adjusting their policy to exclude pensioners from their proposed changes to excess franking credits, they seem to forget their backflip on the NCC cap which they tried to argue was not retrospective but which patently was.
On 15 September 2016 the Coalition Government dumped this change and replaced it by a $1.6 million total superannuation balance limit that precluded further NCCs from 1 July 2017 where a member exceeded a $1.6 million superannuation balance.
From 1 July 2017, the threshold at which high income earners pay an extra 15% additional contributions tax was reduced from $300,000 to $250,000 and the annual concessional contributions (‘CC’) cap was reduced to $25,000 each financial year (indexed in line with AWOTE). Previously, the general limit for the prior financial year was $30,000 (or $35,000 for those aged 49 or above on 1 July 2016).
In contrast to the Coalition Government’s surprise changes announced in May 2016, the Labor Government has provided prior notice in relation to its proposed changes to superannuation, franking credit refunds, negative gearing, capital gains and trusts. Some changes will be grandfathered. This gives investors time to plan and change their investment strategy if they so choose.
Remember Abbott saying “There will 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”?
The reality is that both Labor and the Coalition are trying to unwind some of the unsustainable largesse bestowed during the Howard years. The difference is that Labor is honest about it.