House debates

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Questions without Notice

Turnbull Government

2:07 pm

Photo of Tanya PlibersekTanya Plibersek (Sydney, Australian Labor Party, Deputy Leader of the Opposition) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. Less than a week ago, the Prime Minister was asked, 'What would you say is your greatest achievement since being Prime Minister?' The Prime Minister responded: 'the reforms in superannuation, the reforms to business tax'. Today he has junked both. What is the point of the Turnbull government if the Prime Minister cannot even deliver on his so-called greatest achievements?

2:08 pm

Photo of Malcolm TurnbullMalcolm Turnbull (Wentworth, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

The acting opposition leader's question underpinned, underlined and demonstrated, as if on cue, the very point I just made. We presented in the budget a superannuation reform package, the most substantial in more than a decade: on any view, making superannuation fairer, more flexible and with greater integrity, achieving savings for the budget and achieving all of those measures—very important. There were 12 distinct measures in that package which achieved, in total savings, $6 billion and, in net savings to the budget after the equity measures and funding the LISTO and so forth, $3 billion. So it is a big package—12 measures. One of them was controversial: this was the $500,000 non-concessional cap, and that amounted to $550 million of gross savings out of $6 billion.

I want to put on record my admiration and thanks to the Treasurer and the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, because they were able to put together a set of reforms more substantial. The Labor Party love to talk about equity. They love to talk about fairness. The problem is they do not practise what they preach. They did nothing about superannuation when they were in government. The only approach they have to equity is self-help. That is the Dastyari approach, the self-help approach to equity.

So we have listened, we have consulted with our colleagues in the party room, we have consulted with the community, we have listened to the opposition, we have listened to all parties and we have achieved changes which we believe meet all of the purposes—all of the objectives. They are absolutely consistent with our commitment to ensure that super is fairer and more flexible, achieves budget savings, operates with greater integrity and does not serve as simply a tax shelter for very wealthy people. It is a very fair set of changes. When the pantomime of question time is over and honourable members opposite have the opportunity to reflect on the substance of the changes, I commend them to the opposition. They are fair, they are balanced and they achieve the purposes. Again I thank the ministers and my colleagues for their hard, collegiate work in ensuring we got the right outcome.

Opposition Members:

Opposition members interjecting

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

Members on my left will cease interjecting.

Mr Husic interjecting

Particularly the member for Chifley, who is interjecting now and is now warned.