Greens come unstuck with superannuation blunder

It seems superannuation is the hot topic of this year’s election campaign, with every major political party putting their proverbial
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It seems superannuation is the hot topic of this year’s election campaign, with every major political party putting their proverbial foot in it with their policies.

The Greens are the latest party to be reworking its superannuation policy after it was pointed out that a number of factual inaccuracies and out-dated assumptions had made their way into the party’s official 2016 campaign material.

Initially the Greens claimed its plan to introduce a progressive tax system based closely on workers’ marginal tax rates would save taxpayers $10.6 billion over four years.

However, a Parliamentary Budget Office audit in December found the savings to be much less, a total of roughly $8.9 billion.

The New Daily has also highlighted further errors in the Greens policy documents including:

  • that the Coalition is still led by Tony Abbott
  • that the Government’s temporary budget deficit levy on high-income earners would cease after two years
  • a reference to the ‘Industry Super Network’.

You all know Malcolm Turnbull heads up the current Coalition; the Government plans to remove the levy on June 30, 2017; and the name of the industry funds umbrella body is actually Industry Super Australia (and has been since 2013).

According to a Greens spokesperson, “This was an administrative error, the document on the party website was prepared in 2015 and needs to be updated.”

Earlier this election campaign South Australian senator Sarah Hanson-Young stumbled in her explanation of her party’s plan to tax superannuation contributions, saying that in order to “make it fair you should be paying the same tax rate on income as you do for what you’re earning on your super”. It was a suggestion that the Greens would remove concessional rates of tax for superannuation.

What the parties are proposing

The Coalition is proposing $48.5 billion over 10 years in tax cuts for business, minor income tax relief for those earning $80,000, and a cap on the tax free amount on superannuation.

Labor says it will support the tax cuts for small business, but it wants to retain the deficit level and reform negative gearing and superannuation. It supports lifting the income tax threshold to $87,000.

While the Greens are opposed to company and income tax cuts. It wants to remove negative gearing, remove subsidies for ‘fossil fuels’ and force the country’s high earners to pay at least a base rate of tax.

Do you think superannuation should be ‘off the table’ as an election policy? How will the policies of each party impact you?

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