Super shelter

The Australian’s editorial warns us to “expect tax increases on the long-term retirement savings of workers” (“Political interest rates are highest in the wrong areas”, 3/10). From what quarter should we expect this? It can’t be from this government, whose proposal is to reduce the anomalous tax concession for the wealthiest 1%, to the same level as the rest of us enjoy.

It’s time for some perspective to balance the “hands off our super!” hysteria. Australia’s richest 1% currently receive a 30% tax break on their contributions, almost twice what those on ordinary incomes get, and at an annual cost to the taxpayer of $30 billion and rising. The government’s proposal to reduce this concession to 15% will partially level the playing field. But the 30% perk will still apply to those earning from $180,000 to $300,000 a year, indicating that, if anything, the changes do not go far enough. Super was never intended to be a tax shelter for the super-rich.

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