Interview with Chris O'Keefe, 2GB
28 February 2023
CHRIS O’KEEFE: Senator Jane Hume from the Liberal Party on the line. She's the Shadow Finance Minister, Senator, thanks for joining us.
JANE HUME: Good to be with you, Chris.
CHRIS O’KEEFE: Dead set opposed?
JANE HUME: Well, let's face it, this was the biggest broken promise yet from Anthony Albanese and Jim Chalmers and the Labor government. Prior to the election, they both said that they were very clear that there would be no changes. No changes at all to superannuation. In fact, Jim Chalmers actually made the pledge. He said we've made it very clear that we don't have any proposals for tax increases. Now he said those words. And today, Labor have announced that they're increasing taxes on superannuation and why are they doing it? They're doing it because they can't manage their own budget. As you said, they've announced that they will double the tax rate on superannuation accounts and that's for tens of thousands of Australians, it's 80,000 now, by the time it kicks in will be even more and the fact that they've said that they're going to legislate this year, even though it won't kick in until the next parliament, well that's not seeking a mandate. Let's face it, that's just being tricky. That is very much breaking your promise.
CHRIS O’KEEFE: Speaking of breaking promises, and being disingenuous, and I'll play a little bit of audio Senator this whole day. This is Angus Taylor, your Shadow Treasurer all the way back in 2016.
ANGUS TAYLOR EXCERPT: “The situation 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.
CHRIS O’KEEFE: There you go, so Angus Taylor singing from the same song sheet as Anthony Albanese, the Prime Minister, Senator?
JANE HUME: Well, let's be clear about what the difference is here. First of all, that $1.6 million transfer balance cap was a policy that we took to an election. We didn't legislate it before the election. We took it to the election. We were voted in and we legislated afterwards. Most importantly, that was about making a superannuation system more sustainable, not a more sustainable budget. This wasn't because we couldn't control our spending, quite far from it. We wanted to make sure that the superannuation system was sustainable, and that allowed us to plow money back into the system so that for people like you if you were downsizing your home for instance, you could put more into super, for women that were making catch up contributions that have been out of the workforce for a while we had more money to do that. If you were self employed, you could put money back into superannuation, so in fact, we were providing more opportunities for more people to put money into superannuation. This has just been a great big breach of trust, particularly for those people that have taken the opportunity to do something like sell a family business and put the money into super or downsize their house and put it into super, now they're going to be taxed double what they anticipated when they made those decisions. That is a true breach of trust.
CHRIS O’KEEFE: But when you speaking about the principle of the issue, $3 million. If you're putting or if you've got more than $3 million in your super account, are you saving for retirement, or are you generating wealth?
JANE HUME: Well, around 80,000 Australians are going to fall into this net. So you can ask those 80,000 Australians?
CHRIS O’KEEFE: No, I'm asking you though Senator, as the Shadow Finance Minister?
JANE HUME: Well, I don't have $3 million in my superannuation account, but I certainly aspire to have that amount of money because, quite frankly, I would like to have a comfortable retirement too, now whether I get there is another thing, but there are 80,000 Australians out there that thought that they could do this under a 15%-
CHRIS O’KEEFE: But don't rules change Senator, as circumstances change, but the budget needs to be whacked back into shape and I'm not going to have a go at you guys, at the former government for a trillion dollars in debt but it is what it is as a result of COVID we never saw it before job keeper was necessary. But we are where we are now. And if we're not trying to eke back some money and realistically shut tax loopholes, because that's what they are.
JANE HUME: Do you think that the best way to approach a budget crisis which is essentially what Anthony Albanese and Jim Chalmers have said that they're doing here would be to wind back their spending. Now they came to government with a promise of an additional $8 billion in spending, they in fact spent an additional $23 billion dollars at the October budget, and who knows what we're going to end up with in May. But essentially what we've seen particularly around this tax expenditure statement today is a wish list of things that the Labor government would like to tax more and it's actually almost replicates-
CHRIS O’KEEFE: To be fair though that came out of the Treasury, you guys would have caught these statements all the time and just ignored them. You just looked at the bureaucrats like thank you for that but go away.
JANE HUME: There are whole new elements in this tax expenditure statement that have never been there before. This is essentially a wish list of things that Labor would like to tax. It replicates almost exactly Bill Shorten’s taxation agenda that he took to the 2019 election now, at that election, Australians spoke and said we don't want that level of tax. Well that's exactly why Anthony Albanese and Jim Chalmers didn't mention any of this before the last election, now they're prepared to breach those promises, and implement exactly the same agenda that was rejected by Australians in 2019.
CHRIS O’KEEFE: Well, we can vote on it in 2025?
JANE HUME: But we can't because it will already be legislated.
CHRIS O’KEEFE: But you can repeal it, you guys do that all the time, like with carbon taxes and all the rest of it?
JANE HUME: Let me tell you, getting anything through the Senate is not the easiest task. We know that the Greens are going to roll over and push this one through very, very quickly, trying to get it back in after the election, even if, even if there is a coalition government which we can all cross our fingers and hope for, it will be a very difficult task. Surely if Anthony Albanese and Jim Chalmers were genuine about this, they would seek a mandate and an election rather than legislate before.
CHRIS O’KEEFE: You'll be blocking it? This time around?
JANE HUME: We will always be a party of lower taxes and will certainly, will certainly won't want broken promises.
CHRIS O’KEEFE: So you'll oppose the legislation?
JANE HUME: We will not support broken promises if Anthony Albanese and Jim Chalmers say something and do something else. Well, that's something that's a decision for the party room. It's a decision for the Shadow Cabinet, but I can assure you that the coalition is always in favor of lower taxes and we are certainly not in favor of broken promises.
CHRIS O’KEEFE: Senator, I appreciate your time. Thanks for coming on.
JANE HUME: Thanks for having me, Chris.