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Thursday, 15 June 1989
Page: 4142

Senator BISHOP(4.45) —I move:

(6) Page 43, clause 26, proposed paragraph 159sg (1) (c), lines 16 and 17, leave out the proposed paragraph, insert the following paragraph:

``(c) in relation to the year of income commencing on 1 July 1988-$125,000; or''.

This amendment deals with the raising of the lump sum tax free threshold from $65,000 to $125,000. This amendment is consistent with the coalition's own published policy for retirement incomes. It recognises that in the future, with a greater participation rate in superannuation and increased benefits, the average lump sum amount of approximately $60,000 will inevitably rise. It is a genuine attempt to increase the sum to the appropriate amount equivalent to what it costs the Australian taxpayer to fund a married couple in their retirement years. It is aimed at encouraging self-provision in retirement and decreasing reliance on government-funded pensions. The Government claims that such a step is only directed at the top end of town. The average lump sum now of $60,000 indicates that it thinks that this will not change in the future.

The coalition does not agree with this proposition. It is part of a range of incentives which the coalition has provided in its retirement incomes policy and deals with the enhancement of people's ability to enter into superannuation. With Labor's investment tax in place-as I said, we are still hopeful that when we come to the general purpose clause we might see a change of mind by the Australian Democrats-people's end benefits will decrease. So it is no wonder that they will not believe that the present lump sum of $60,000 will not significantly increase. It is our objective to make it more attractive for people below the $60,000 mark to be part of superannuation and to attempt, as I said, to make people truly self-reliant. It is in line with our own published retirement income policy.