Interview on the Project
1 March 2023
SARAH HARRIS: Shadow Finance Minister Senator Jane Hume joins us now Jane, good to see you. Why do people with an investment portfolio of $3 million need a tax break?
JANE HUME: Well, let's be clear Sarah. This is a broken promise by the Albanese government. Prior to the election, Anthony Albanese said there was going to be no changes to superannuation. And Jim Chalmers said there would be no new taxes. That was the pledge he made. They've gone back on that pledge on that promise and now 80,000 Australians are going to be caught in that net. And that's really just the start. Last week they said it was going to be 36,000 Australians this week. They're saying it's 80,000 Australians. By the time this begins in 2025, we're not sure how many Australians will be caught up in this net. And the reason why they're doing it is not to make the superannuation system fairer. It's to make their budget more sustainable. It's not to look after the sustainability of superannuation system, that was done and dusted. In fact, the Retirement Income Review said that we already completed that, it's a sustainable system. They said that in 2020, this is about the budget. It's because labor are addicted to spending. And when they run out of money, they come after yours.
WALEED ALY: We should of course acknowledge, they're saying this change would come in after the next election and for that reason, it's not a broken promise. I hear what you say but I just should put out for our viewers. I would have seen a clip, you would have seen this clip going around today of someone actually making quite a strong argument on the principle of this that this was a good idea from a few years ago. The problem was the person who was making that argument was your colleague, the Shadow Treasurer. Let's have a look at the clip.
ANGUS TAYLOR: …we had was some people were contributing millions of dollars into super. And it's totally inappropriate that someone who's contributed millions and millions of dollars continues to get those dividends.
TANYA PLIBERSEK: We agree on that.
WALEED ALY: Why the change of mind?
JANE HUME: Well, can I tell you there's three things that are different here. One was that was a problem, a commitment that was taken to an election, we were re-elected and that was when we legislated that's very different from what Labor are promising now. The second is it was an effort to make the superannuation system more sustainable and we succeeded. That's why the Retirement Income Review in 2020 said the system is now sustainable. It certainly wasn’t-
WALEED ALY: But the principles are still the same-
JANE HUME: It certainly wasn’t for budget repair.
WALEED ALY: You’re saying when you’ve got that many millions of dollars in, you shouldn't be getting that concession-
JANE HUME: It certainly wasn’t for budget repair though Waleed-
WALEED ALY: the principal he articulated. Do you disagree with that principle?
JANE HUME: I disagree because that money was plugged back into providing more opportunities for Australians to put money into superannuation. When they sold their home and downsize for instance, or when they sold a business or for women that had missed out on those years of contributing to superannuation to catch up on their contributions. That's how we could do that. Now, Anthony Albanese and Jim Chalmers have reneged on those people that have taken the opportunity to put voluntary savings into superannuation because they trusted the system. What they have done is essentially abused that trust and gone back and reneged on those 80,000 Australians today, but who knows how many it will be tomorrow? And who knows it'll be, how many it will be in the future.
MADELEINE WEST: Well, Jane, in simple terms, it looks like the government has goaded you into a fight if you will, where they're on the battlers side and you're left defending the 1% Is that really where you want to be?
JANE HUME: No, I think all Australians should be very wary when the government goes back on a promise to not raise taxes because of course then you say, Well, what is next? Is it going to be capital gains tax that they go after isn't going to be negative gearing what is next on their agenda? Certainly they came out with a wish list yesterday on on tax concessions that they would rather like to repeal in order to make savings in the budget. Well, how about you make savings on the budget by not spending so much?
WALEED ALY: I think they might call that their treasury advice rather than a wish list. This debate will go on for a very long time. I suspect it's always good to speak. Thanks for joining us in the studio rather than from an airport.