That fine custodian of moral journalistic virtue, Dennis Shanahan, in his article titled Labor fails super test with voters he gleefully tells us that:
Most people do not trust the Labor Party on superannuation and are overwhelmingly opposed to it being subjected to any tax increases after the Gillard government announced pre-budget cuts to retirement concessions for the wealthiest.
Only one in four voters believes the ALP, the party that introduced the modern superannuation system and compulsory employer payments to workers, is best able to handle superannuation. According to a Newspoll survey conducted exclusively for The Australian on the weekend after Wayne Swan announced superannuation changes aimed at saving $1 billion over four years, 55 per cent said they did not “currently” trust Labor on superannuation and 31 per cent said they did.
It’s all over Labor taxing the rich.
I’ll admit that I don’t like to see anyone’s superannuation savings diminished in any way, but given the choice between the rich and the poor being adversely affected, I’d happily settle on the rich. Tony Abbott – who I now introduce to the discussion – sees it differently to me. We need to talk a little about how Tony Abbott sees things. So do journalists like Dennis Shanahan.
Following the Treasurer’s announcement that super pension and annuity earnings greater than $100,000 would be taxed at 15 per cent, instead of being tax free – a move that would affect an estimated 16,000 people – Mr Abbott, in his role as the defender of all affluent Australians, said he:
. . . would “fight ferociously” changes that would play havoc with people’s retirement plans.
That would be admirable, if it weren’t for this:
Mr Abbott repeatedly refused to guarantee to wind back the government’s proposed changes, saying only that the Coalition would not make matters worse.
”We aren’t going to do any more damage,” he said.
That comment certainly makes his threat to fight ferociously appear rather shallow. All bark, no bite. I find it odd that he thinks repealing this would cause further damage. How?
Nonetheless, his opposition to the move has been most vociferous. No doubt you’ve see it headlined – nay, bashed to death – in the Murdoch media. Here’s an example:
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has taken his “hands-off superannuation” message directly to those most worried by reported government changes – older Australians.
He rammed home the message to retirees on Sydney’s northern beaches on Tuesday that superannuation “piggy banks” were not government money but people’s money.
Raiding their piggy banks to fund the government’s “out-of-control” spending was a breach of faith and a betrayal of trust, he told the grey heads at the Dee Why RSL club.
He continues his attack on the LNP website:
The Prime Minister should end the class war and the latest escalation on the class war is the Prime Minister and the Treasurer’s coming attack on your superannuation. I want to say to the Australian people – your superannuation is safe under the Coalition. Your superannuation should be sacrosanct. There is no way that your superannuation should be raided by a bad government to get itself out of a hole. The Government should not be damaging your future to secure its future. The Government should not be raiding your money to get money for itself. It is a sign of just how debauched this Government has got that when it is in a hole, a hole of its own making, it should be seeking to trash your superannuation – trash, in fact, Labor’s historic legacy – to try to fix up a problem which it has caused.
“On balance, this is a $1 billion hit on people’s retirement savings,” he told the media in Melbourne.
“It is a $1 billion hit on savings that belong to the people, not the Government, and it shows that this is a government which is prepared to tax the people to fund its own spending.”
And it will only get worse, he warns:
If they get away with attacking the so-called rich today, they’re going to come for you tomorrow. That’s the truth about this government. If they get away with this, they’ll think they can get away with anything.
The man must be an emotional wreck; all that caring, all those concerns. Well, yes, he certainly has put on a sad face. He bleeds for those poor people raking in over $100,000 a year. The whole 16,000 of them.
And thanks to people like Dennis Shanahan we’ll always get to hear Tony’s side of the story.
Have a look at the Newspoll that Shanahan gloats about. What do you see? I see questions that are designed to elicit as much negativity about the Government possible.
Now let’s have a look at what Tony Abbott really thinks about superannuation.
It’s a con job, he once said, while on another occasion he savaged it as nothing but a gravy train for union officials. He even opposed an increase in the Super Guarantee – changes that would see 8.4 million Australians receive an increase in their retirement incomes. In effect, he opposed:
- An additional $108,000 in the retirement income of a 30-year-old on average weekly earnings.
- An additional $78,000 in superannuation for a women aged 30 on average weekly earnings, who has had an interrupted work pattern.
- Australians who are over 50 and have low super balances, the opportunity to contribute up to $50,000 a year into superannuation at a concessional tax rate.
The latest ‘policy’ of Abbott’s confirms his apathy towards superannuation. Here it is in a nutshell:
Opposition leader Tony Abbott confirmed plans to axe a super tax break worth up to $500 a year for 3.6 million low-income earners.
. . . his plan to axe the $500 superannuation benefit for low-income workers will hit more than two million women, including 11,000 female voters in Tony Abbott’s own electorate.
It’s safe to say that in total, more people in his electorate will be effected by this measure than the number of people effected Australia wide by Labor’s plan. In total, it will effect 3.6 million Australians.
Wouldn’t it be good to have a Newspoll that asked questions about Tony Abbott’s super plan?
Perhaps they could try asking the very people who will be affected, such as the grey army.