Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Super Hypocrisy

Cartoon courtesy of Nicholson

Greg Jericho has written a reasoned piece on the current Superannuation beat-up, which is being done to death by News Limited.

Given that there is nothing to report yet as no policy has been announced, this reportage is bizarre, but typical of the habit of this particular corporation of creating a controversy, and then squeezing every possible drop of spite and bile out of it.

Jericho thoroughly busts the myth that people earning above $150000 per annum are on Struggle Street, and contrasts their situation with those (say) on Newstart or a disability pension.

One very good point he makes is that it costs everyone pretty much the same to survive, but some of us have no choice over and above survival.

Anyone doing it tough on $150000 per annum is not very good at managing a budget. Ask any Uni student surviving on Youth Allowance without help from parents. This is particularly true if they’re living in one of the bigger centres and having to pay rent or board.

The other bizarre element of this beat-up is the reporting of the Coalition’s treatment of the issue.

Superannuation was devised, built, implemented and incrementally increased over time by Labor. Each time it was improved there was trenchant resistance and fear mongering by the Coalition. It was going to send small business broke, remember.

 Yet Abbott and his minions are painting Labor as being about to rip into everyone’s Super accounts. The irony that these accounts probably wouldn’t exist if the Coalition had its way historically is somehow lost.

Compulsory super is a percentage of a person's income. Obviously 12% of $300000 or even $180000 is much more than 12% of $30000. The super guaranteed portion of a person's retirement funds should be calculated with this figure (very comfortable retirement amount) in mind. It should not be a loophole allowing for the wealthy to avoid tax. Many low income earners can work for a lifetime and still not get near this very comfortable retirement figure.

You could be excused for thinking that yet again the coalition is fighting tooth and nail to protect the rich and rob from the poor. More than 3 million of Australia's lowest income earners, mostly women, earning $37000 or less now pay 0% tax on their super contributions, thanks to this government. Abbott wants to cut Labor's Low Income Superannuation Contribution scheme for workers earning less than $37,000 per year.

The Coalition plans to tax these poorest Australians but protect the rich. I’d like to know how that is fair.

Put this in the context of Abbott’s plan to abolish the MRRT, giving billions over time back to the richest miners and shareholders, many of whom are not Australians. This is a tax that the mining industry agreed they should pay and hurts no companies or employees until they are super profitable.

In other words, they’ll remove tax concessions on Super for low income earners, but retain it for the most wealthy. I’d be fascinated to see Judith Sloan (one of the more notable apologists for the Coalition) spin this.

H/t Brendan

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