Small change: Most Aussies favour new taxes for super-rich

Further changes to superannuation are not being considered by the government, despite large levels of public support for increasing taxes on wealthy balances, according to the workplace relations minister.

Mar 06, 2023, updated Mar 06, 2023
Industrial Relations Minister Tony Burke. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Industrial Relations Minister Tony Burke. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Tony Burke said while there was backing in the community for the superannuation changes, the support was due to it being a small change.

The latest Newspoll showed 64 per cent of people approved plans to double the concessional tax rate for super balances over $3 million.

The tax rate will rise from 15 per cent to 30 per cent from July 2025.

Despite the support, Burke said that didn’t reveal there was an appetite for further reform in the sector.

“You’ve got to be careful of overriding what’s there at the moment. I think the fact that this has been a modest, calm, balanced change is part of the support that’s receiving,” he told ABC Radio on Monday.

“When you’re getting a good response about a particular proposal, then the response is about that proposal that’s in front of people. I just don’t think you can draw too much further than that.”

The Newspoll also showed 29 per cent of those surveyed did not approve of the super tax changes.

A total of 80 per cent of Labor voters approved of the plan but 54 per cent of Coalition voters also supported it.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has promised to repeal the changes, should the coalition win the next election.

Opposition immigration spokesman Dan Tehan told Sky News while polls had shown support for the tax rise, it still represented a broken commitment from the government.

“What the government is doing is true to form for a Labor government, they’re raising taxes and they’re breaking election promises,” he said.

“What you’ve got to think about (is) all those people after the last election who had heard from Anthony Albanese that they weren’t going to make changes with super and they made investments based on those commitments.

“What they’re facing now is the fact that those commitment and those investment decisions that they made were based on a false promise.”

Burke said the super changes were sensible and necessary to deal with growing levels of government debt.

“People understand that the $1 trillion of Liberal debt doesn’t look after itself, and there are different ways you can go to try and deal with the debt that you face,” he said.

“When people look at the different options, I think people can say this is a pretty sensible, calm response to it.”

Independent senator David Pocock said the support for increasing super taxes to deal with government debt showed talks on repealing planned stage three tax cuts were also needed.

Repealing the tax cuts would put more than $240 billion back into the budget.

“We’ve got to start talking about …putting in changes that ensure that the budget can worker harder for the people that need support, not people who’ve somehow managed to tuck away $3 million in super,” he told ABC Radio.

“If we want to deal with bracket creep for people at the lower end, there’s better ways of doing that than the stage three tax cuts.”

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