Thursday, 9 March 2023
Ian Goodenough (Moore, Liberal Party) Share this | Link to this | Hansard source
Self-funded retirees make a significant contribution to our nation and its finances, however, their interests are often overlooked by government and they become the targets for revenue raising to prop up budgets. The recent announcement of increases in tax on superannuation is a prime example. Despite stating that there would be no changes to the taxation arrangements on superannuation before being elected, the Prime Minister has gone back on his word. The finance minister has since exposed the impact of the Prime Minister's broken promises on super by admitting that up to one in 10 Australians could be affected by Labor's changes to super, not just the top 0.5 per cent initially claimed. The government has not only broken its superannuation promises to Australians but has also been deliberately tricky and misleading about how many people will be affected by the superannuation tax. In contributing to the adjournment debate, I wish to advocate for the interest of fully and partly self-funded retirees living in my electorate who have made prudent sacrifices to provide for their retirement. I wish to thank Mr Ron de Gruchy OAM, representing Western Australia Self Funded Retirees Incorporated and the Superannuated Commonwealth Officers' Association (WA) Incorporated, who met with me last week to discuss their 2023-24 pre-budget submission in detail.
The first recommendation in their submission is that the pre-1 July 1988 taxation arrangements for the 1922 pension scheme, the PNG scheme and the CSS, PSS and ComSuper pensions be treated in the same manner as all other superannuation schemes. The second recommendation is that pensioners in receipt of the Centrelink age pension be allowed to engage in paid employment with no corresponding reduction in their pension amount. The third is that the mandatory minimum drawdown percentages of superannuation funds applicable to people over the age of 60 be reviewed with the intention of lowering them. The fourth recommendation is that the work test applicable to retirees for personal concessional contributions to superannuation be abolished. The fifth recommendation is that retirees be able to transfer funds into superannuation at the prescribed contribution levels irrespective of their age.
The sixth recommendation is that Australian citizens over the age of 65 and with a disability recognised under the current NDIS legislation be accorded the same benefits, both financial and otherwise, as are accorded to those people under the age of 65. The simplest way for this to happen is for the NDIS legislation to be amended to include those aged over 65. If this is not practicable, then the aged-care legislation should be amended so as to produce the same desired outcome. The seventh recommendation is that the Medicare and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Safety Net thresholds for single retirees be restructured so that access to them becomes available at 65 per cent of the levels applicable to couples and families. The eighth recommendation is that the seniors and pensioners' tax offset, currently at $2,230 for singles, be adjusted annually to account for increases in the cost of living, and that the SAPTO rebate 'shade out' income thresholds should be increased immediately so as to be equal to the Medicare levy low-income threshold. They should then be reviewed annually so as to always be equal to the Medicare levy low-income threshold. The final recommendation is that the components of a retiree's income derived from an untaxed superannuation scheme and from other sources be assessed separately for taxation purposes, as is the case for the retirees who derive an income from a taxed superannuation scheme.
I commend the 2023-24 pre-budget submission by Western Australia Self Funded Retirees and the Superannuated Commonwealth Officers' Association (WA) to the House.