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Lump sum superannuation tax: a continuing saga of ineptness and insensitivity



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Leader of the Opposition

PRESS RELEASE 86/83

LUMP SUM SUPERANNUATION TAX : A CONTINUING SAGA OF INEPTNESS AND INSENSITIVITY

"The Hawke Government's handling of the lump sum superannuation tax has reached new heights of ineptness and insensitivity", the Leader of the Opposition, Hon Andrew Peacock, said today.

"It is time for the Government to admit its mistake and either abandon the tax or start all over again on a review _____ of retirement schemes.

"Australians are seeing, at first hand, a clear example of the inability of Mr Hawke and his Ministers to make coherent policies and to foresee the implications of their policies.

"It is now almost three months since the new tax was announced. Significant changes have been made on the run, under threat of industrial action by the ACTU and the Pilots Federation. Other key groups affected have either not been consulted or have had

their pleas disregarded. For example, the vital interests of Defence Forces personnel were first forgotten and now ignored. Finally we are told there are still remaining "technical" issues and that the legislation can't be drafted until there

have been further negotiations with the ACTU on the total question of retirement schemes.

"The Government's whole approach has led to continuing confusion in the community. After almost three months the Government is making a belated attempt to explain the basic details of the tax through a series of panic advertisements costing around

$200,000. It could have saved taxpayers money - the advertisements give no indication that the Government understands what it has done or what it will be doing about the tax in the future.

"The changes already made to the original proposal make nonsense of the Government's claim that the tax is a serious attack on double-dipping and on the general problem of retirement schemes. The Government continually shifts ground as to the real reason for the tax.

"The Australian people are confused, the original proposal is in tatters and the Government twists and turns on the whole issue. It is time the Government conceded these realities and started all over again."

CANBERRA 16 August 1983