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Tuesday, 25 March 1997
Page: 2357

Senator KEMP (Assistant Treasurer)(1.52 p.m.) —Complete prohibition, as proposed by Senator Sherry, on fees and charges is really an unwarranted commercial interference and again it reflects the Labor Party's attitude.

Senator Lundy interjecting

Senator KEMP —Senator Lundy gets up and gets all excited. I am going to state the reasons for you. Please, when you stand up, do not say, `Well, you did not answer the question,' because I will go very carefully through what Senator Sherry has said. Senator Lundy, if you get up I want you to be able to address an issue which I will raise at the end of this—if you are going to support this amendment.

RSA providers, like all commercial operators, should be allowed to levy fees and charges, provided they are fully disclosed. Apart from member protection of accounts below $1,000, which Senator Sherry raised, there is no direct regulation of fees and charges in the superannuation industry. Are you are aware of that? Senator Lundy initially was for choice and presumably she initially wanted to make sure that it was all on a level playing field. Your initial position should give you some comfort. Listen to this, however, and then I will sit down so the Labor people can get up and explain to me why this is wrong.

Making RSAs immune from a tax or a surcharge—that is what your amendment does; that is what it says—would make RSAs a tax haven and open up an enormous loophole. That is what Senator Sherry's amendment does. That is exactly what you have done now. Senator Sherry, unlike some of your colleagues you do not have a reputation for being the shadow minister for tax rorts. I think that some of your colleagues are more liable to be attacked on that front, but not you. I think that you have adopted a responsible attitude, Senator Sherry, but with one little amendment you have opened up an enormous tax haven. That is what you have done, Senator Sherry. Can you get up and explain to me why you have not?