Page 3018 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 14 August 2013
Friday were just the beginning. Mr Swan, when Treasurer, would not rule out more super taxes in the budget. We know Labor looked at a whole series of nasty tax increases on super over the past year and only backed off under intense public and internal pressure. Then it was revealed that Penny Wong wanted to go much further, with Bill Shorten clearly wanting it known out there that he had stopped Swan and Wong in their tracks for now. So we have internal dissent and a commitment from Labor to tax them more. They must have been taking lessons from Mr Quinlan with that famous motto of squeeze them till they bleed but not until they die.
Labor are not serious about easing the cost of living burdens on self-funded superannuants. If they were, they would make sure that they had policies in place to do so. Against that, there is the federal coalition’s position. They are against Labor’s increased taxes on super that were announced. They are supportive of increased concessional caps and fixing the excess contributions issue, and that they do it in a fiscally responsible way. They are opposed to Labor’s new bureaucracy to keep bad governments in check. The best way to sort out a bad government is at an election, and, of course, we all know that is now just a couple of weeks away.
The Canberra Liberals understand that superannuation and savings form a crucial part of everyone’s livelihood. Labor has threatened this, either through taxes they levy on seniors or, in the case of superannuation, through cutbacks on contribution levels and discouraging people from providing for more of their own self-funded retirement. Whether it be slugging seniors who cannot pay their rates increases with a death tax or attacking seniors’ superannuation, this opposition will not unilaterally move the goalposts on seniors’ hard-earned savings and investments.
MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (3.54): It is not my intention to speak for long, but I want to commend Mr Doszpot for bringing this motion before the Assembly. Mr Doszpot has been a great champion for older Canberrans over the last few months. He has been out in our community speaking to many groups and many individuals, finding out what issues affect them directly. It is as a result of that hard work that Mr Doszpot has been advocating within the Liberal Party room on a number of issues. He has come to the Assembly with this motion today, and I commend him for that.
There is, no doubt, a number of older people in our community who are self-funded retirees and who are doing it very tough. I reflect on the situation of my parents and a number of their friends—people who have worked very hard over a long period of time—who saw a lot of their savings in superannuation disappear through the GFC. The expectations they had of a comfortable retirement went. As a result, they are doing it very tough.
A number of changes being made to policy, both federally and locally, are making an already bad situation worse. Locally a number of policies set by the government are having a detrimental effect on self-funded retirees and their cost of living. Most notable, as Mr Smyth has just been talking about, is the impact of the massive increase in rates. We will argue in this place till the cows come home about whether they are tripling or not, but nobody is arguing about whether they are going up exponentially. You only need to get your latest rates, as I did, to know that is the case. For self-funded retirees living in their own homes, that is a really difficult issue.