Interview with Kieran Gilbert – Sky News AM Agenda – Wednesday, 11 November 2015



SUBJECT/S: Superannuation tax concessions; Malcolm Turnbull’s plan for a 15 per cent GST; climate change

KIERAN GILBERT: This is AM Agenda continuing this morning with Labor frontbencher Jason Clare now. Jason Clare a lot on the tax front. Labor has got its ideas on super. The Government’s obviously considering a number on its side. It doesn’t believe it should be retrospective any change but there is common ground here at least is consensus that something needs to be done on the super front, that’s a good step isn’t it.

JASON CLARE, SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS: It is a good step. We have been arguing for months that this is an area of the budget where the concessions are too generous and that there needs to be reform. We’ve argued that that should happen. The government in the past has said there would be no changes to tax concessions in super. Get ready for the back flip. Get ready for the back flip worthy of Nadia Comaneci. I think they will do something here but they need to do something serious. Think about it Kieran, you can have millions and millions of dollars in your superannuation account and earn hundreds of thousands of dollars on that and it’s all tax free. What we’ve said is the first $75,000 that you earn on your lump sum every year should still be tax free but after that it should be taxed at 15 per cent.

GILBERT: Do you understand why the Government’s concerned about having retrospective changes given people make the investment on the basis of the rules as they were?

CLARE: Kieran that is a nonsense argument, this argument about retrospectivity. This is a tax on income earned in a calendar year, it’s not a tax based on the lump sum that you have already got, that you’ve accumulated. On that lump sum for the income you earn on that every year if you earn more than $75,000 on that lump sum then after the first $75,000 you’ll be taxed at 15 per cent thereafter.

Now think about it – if you’re out there working at the moment and your salary is $75,000 you’re getting taxed at 32.5 per cent. We are saying if you earn $75,000 on your super it will all be tax free until then, not 32.5 per cent, tax free, but thereafter 15 per cent. Not retrospective, it’s prospective and I think most people in Australia think that’s fair. Slowly, hopefully the Government is coming around on it.

GILBERT: The Government is being constructive when it comes to super and all the tax debate, the Prime Minister says everything is on the table, why isn’t Labor as constructive? You are ruling out changes to GST, you don’t even know what the compensation might be.

CLARE: Lets wait and see on super. We are still debating this in a bit of a vacuum. The Government is saying let’s have a discussion but they are not giving us any information about what they want to propose.

GILBERT: On the GST for example, you say it’s regressive but people could be better off, low income earners, under the compensation?

CLARE: Be very careful here Kieran. Be very careful here. Watch the magician’s hands because what is happening in the Parliament at the moment, the Government wants to cut the amount of money for family payments, then they are going to jack up the GST and increase payments as compensation but remember they are cutting family payments now – so people aren’t going to be properly compensated because they are getting their family payments cut right now. So be very careful. Malcolm Turnbull good with words, very tricky. Watch the magician’s hands.

GILBERT: Finally on the climate front, Australia in from the cold according to the advice from Paris. Greg Hunt says Australia was well received at those climate talks. It seems they have been seen as more constructive on the international stage, the Coalition.

CLARE: I think Canada and Australia both received a good response. There are two things those countries have got in common. They have both recently got rid of their climate sceptics as leaders. But there is a difference between Canada and Australia, Justin Trudeau has said he’ll introduce a different climate change policy, he will introduce an emissions trading scheme. Malcolm Turnbull has only promised to keep Tony Abbott’s climate change policy. That’s not good enough and he needs to get real and implement the things that the really believes in.

GILBERT: Jason Clare as always appreciate it, thank you.

CLARE: Thanks.