Hockey dismisses Labor super policy as ‘tax grab’

The Federal Government has dismissed the Labor Party's high super account balance policy announcement as a "tax grab" but has not ruled out traversing the issue in the context of the Tax White Paper.

The Federal Opposition has placed key elements of its superannuation policy on the table this week, specifically targeting the level of tax concessions to those with high superannuation balances.

The shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen, confirmed media speculation on the issue by declaring that, if elected, the Australian Labor Party would make two changes to the superannuation/retirement incomes regime.

  • Ensure earnings of more than $75,000 during the retirement phase are taxed at a concessional rate of 15 per cent instead of being tax free; and
  • Lower the threshold for the 15 per cent High Income Superannuation Charge from $300,000 to $250,000 to better align tax concessions.

Bowen said the measures would result in saving of $14.3 billion over 10 years. The Federal Treasurer, Joe Hockey, reacted to the Labor policy announcement of a 15 per cent tax on super earnings over $75,000 a year by claiming the Opposition's default position "is always to increase taxes".

However he conceded he would be taking a look at the details of the Labor policy notwithstanding the fact that "last time they tried this they made a mess of it".

"We'll have a look at the details but I'm always sceptical of Labor coming up with new taxes. Look at the Mining Tax, look at the Carbon Tax and now they've got a new Superannuation Tax," Hockey said.