More Liberal chaos and confusion over super

31 May 2016

The Turnbull Government’s super shambles descended into more chaos and confusion today. 

Not only are the Liberals incapable of agreeing on the impact of the Budget’s superannuation measures, senior members of the Turnbull Government’s frontbench can’t even explain what the measures are.

Scott Morrison continues to mislead people about retrospectivity, while Malcolm Turnbull and Julie Bishop can’t seem to agree whether there’ll be changes at all.

Now it is clear that Julie Bishop doesn’t understand the policy changes in the first place.

In a train wreck of an interview with Neil Mitchell this morning, Ms Bishop was unable to nominate which Budget measure was for Transition to Retirement pensions, or what happens if a person reaches the $1.6 million superannuation cap and then the value of the investments later go down.

MITCHELL: Explain the transitional scheme.

BISHOP: In which - the $1.6 million is a cap.

MITCHELL: No, not the $1.6 million – the transitional scheme


MITCHELL: So, if you earn more, over the $1.6 million, so it goes up to $2 million, you've got to pay 15 per cent on the extra earnings of that $400,000. Is that right? How often is it assessed and what if it goes down?

BISHOP: These are all issues that people will seek advice on. I'm not going to give people financial advice on their - 

MITCHELL: It's not financial advice. It's policy. This is your policy. What happens if I've got $1.6 million there and I lose money on the stock exchange, it goes down to $1 million. I'm earning less. What happens then? Can I top it up?

BISHOP: Obviously the $1.6 million is the highest level that you can get the, over $1.6 million is the 15 per cent.

No wonder there is a long and growing list of Liberal Party figures that are openly criticising the superannuation measures.

Former Liberal Treasurer, Peter Costello, has delivered a stinging rebuke of Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison’s doomed policies. Peta Credlin, Chief of Staff to the former Prime Minister, says the superannuation changes make the Turnbull Government look both ‘devious and unprincipled.’

Labor finds all of this chaos gravely concerning because it trashes Australians’ confidence in our superannuation system.

Labor wants to tackle unfairness in superannuation, but any changes Labor makes will be done in a careful and consultative way.

The last thing the superannuation system needs is drastic, unexpected change which even senior Turnbull Government frontbenchers can’t explain.