Interview with Peta Credlin, Credlin on SkyNews
22 February 2023
PETA CREDLIN: Joining me now, Shadow Finance Minister and Minister for Superannuation in the previous Coalition Government, Senator Jane Hume. Jane Hume I’ll play it again. Before the election, the PM was asked about super and he said this.
JOURNALIST: Does Labor commit to the current super arrangement for self-funded retirees and other superannuants? And do you rule out any increases to super taxes and changes to caps?
ANTHONY ALBANESE: We've said we have no intention of making any super changes. One of the things that we're doing in this campaign is we’re making all of our policies clear, clear. We're putting them out there for all to see.
PETA CREDLIN: So how's a tax hike, Jane, not a major change?
JANE HUME: Of course, it's a major change, Peta. Not only is it a major change, though, it's also a broken promise just like $275 off your electricity bills, just like having all the solutions to the rising cost of living, just like saying that your mortgages would be cheaper and you'd feel a change of government in your wallet - well, you certainly do. But for all the wrong reasons. This is very much a broken promise. What we're seeing now is that Labor, addicted to spending, is facing a budget that's got increased pressures on health, on NDIS, this giant wishlist from all these newly minted ministers, and Jim Chalmers simply can't say no. And of course we know that when Labor runs out of money, they come after yours. They're shrouding this conversation in lofty words like sustainability of the system and setting an objective so that we have a compass that points true north. And I think we should unpack a little bit of what that means. The Retirement Income Review that was commissioned in the previous government was a 600 page report into not just superannuation, but all three pillars of the retirement income system, the age pension, superannuation and savings outside of superannuation as well. And it said that our superannuation system is already sustainable, that it's delivering on its objectives, but it's complicated and difficult to navigate, which is why our priority in government was threefold. One was to make sure that it was transparent. That performance and fees were easily comparable so people could navigate the system more easily. The second was that trustees had to work not just in the best interest of members, because that can somehow change to say, ‘oh, it's in the best interest of members to live in a low emissions environment’. The best financial interest of members is what is most important, we want to make sure that super funds invest for members best financial interests. And finally, we wanted to make sure that people could invest more in superannuation when they were capable of doing so. So women coming back to work had higher levels of contributions that they could make catch up contributions, people selling their house and downsizing to a smaller house could put more money into superannuation and self employed people can get the same tax concessions as people that were PAYE. So these were the superannuation changes that we made, making the system more transparent and easier to navigate. But we did not change the tax system because we know that people are relying on that when they make their decisions about their retirement, Jim Chalmers is coming after people’s retirement funds.
PETA CREDLIN: Let's get back into some of the detail from the government though Jane. I mean I take all those points, but they both point, the Prime Minister and the Treasurer, today to liking the recommendations from the Grattan Institute and they're flooding a whole range of things like removing tax concessions if your balance is over a certain amount. They don't like this idea. The Grattan Institute of taxpayer funded inheritance schemes, you can't leave your super to your family again. Ross Greenwood on my program on Monday night said well, that's just like a death tax by stealth. This idea potentially, that you won't be able to take a lump sum out when you retire, maybe to pay off what's left of your mortgage. That, in fact, you'll just have to take your own super as some sort of, you know, self funded pension. And the idea particularly for those young people who say, 30s and 40s. They've gone off and done other things. They finish their education, they've got some money in their super now they want to buy their own home and not being able to access their money for what I would regard and forget using it for dental and that stuff, but their home is incredibly important when they retire that that's paid off. What do you think of those things, Jane Hume?
JANE HUME: Well, there's an awful lot to unpack there, Peter, but I think the most important thing is back to that issue of a compass. When we're in government. Our compass was very clear, very easy. It's not the Labor Party's money. It's not the government's money. It's not the union's money. It's not the fund managers money. It's your money, you earned it, you saved it, and it should be invested for your benefit. And potentially, you know, the Retirement Income Review, for instance, made it very clear that the best indicator of economic security in retirement is owning your own home and that's why the Coalition have released a policy before the election has continued with that policy in this term of Parliament as well, that would allow people to take money out of their superannuation to put a deposit on their first home or if you're divorced and you need to buy a second home with your divorce settlement, you can do it again. And then once you sell that home, you put the money and the earnings on that money back into super super doesn't suffer. But you get that financial security in retirement of owning your own home which is so fundamentally important. Labor would much rather, superannuation funds are directed to invest in other things, including housing that you can then rent out from them.
PETA CREDLIN: I would hope, if the worst eventuates as Labor policy. We hear would be told in the budget, that the Coalition will vote against it because David Pocock already the ACT independent, is musing that he'll start negotiating on some of this stuff, which is beyond the pale. Jane Hume, thank you.