The way things are going, your humble Cassandra may be forced out of retirement.
Just to say “I told you so” and “Uh huh, here it comes, folks”.
Superannuation is in the news. Lots of news.
There’s two “angles” to this super news.
Firstly, the obscene largesse manifest in the retirement benefits enjoyed by politicians (and public servants) at the taxpayers’ expense. For life. Tax free.
Secondly, the hot new story (long predicted at this blog) that these same politicians, not content with leeching off the public throughout their sordid lives of so-called “public service” before retiring to quieter lives of richly undeserved luxury, are … surprise surprise … looking to dip their greedy fingers into your super savings. Why? Well, if for no other reason than that the miserable vermin simply can’t balance a budget, for love nor (borrowed) money.
Let’s resist the temptation to immediately launch into a completely justifiable rage-filled rant on the first “angle”, and begin with a look at the second.
Former regular readers of this little blog will doubtless recall the many proffered warnings that both the Labor and Liberal parties – henceforth to be known as the “Laboral Party” – have their eyes firmly set on stealing your super. Indeed, their plans are well advanced to do just that -
That was back in 2011. There’s more where they came from (see “Search” function at top right of this page).
The latest news revolves around speculation that the Labor(al) Party would like to fiddle the tax system with intent to grab a larger chunk of “wealthy” Australians superannuation when they retire. Here’s Business Spectator’s Robert Gottliebsen:
Treasury and the politicians are canvassing the taxing of those with superannuation fund balances of over $1 million, forgetting that the $1 million, if invested in bank deposits, would yield only $38,000 in income.
Retiring Attorney General Nicola Roxon’s parliamentary superannuation is worth at least $10 million but she would not be taxed under the proposal being canvassed because her pension (like that of senior public servants) is virtually free so it is not declared “middle class welfare”.
To tax unfortunates who receive no ‘free’ money but set hard earned cash aside to fund their retirement via superannuation, but are now struggling, is simply grossly unfair.
Note well, that was “Treasury and the politicians”. Let’s not forget that arguably the greatest rort of all is not so-called “middle class welfare”. It is UPPER class welfare. And upper class welfare goes largely to the quietly swelling hordes of “public servants”, such as those aforementioned Treasury officials. Here’s The Australian’s Adam Creighton a week ago:
A more blatant example of upper-class welfare is found in Canberra, among the bloated senior ranks of the public service. Thousands are paid exorbitant sums grossly disproportionate to the social value of their output. Taxpayers lavish salaries between $200,000 and $750,000 a year on almost 2900 senior public servants. Another 13,230 are paid about $150,000 a year.
Whole suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne pay tax to support this artificial, taxpayer-created upper class, whose incomes dwarf similarly employed public servants in London and Washington DC.
And that is just their incomes. Their superannuation “entitlements” (what a multi-faceted word that is, for politicians!) are equally scandalous. Here’s Robert Gottliebsen last year:
Former superannuation minister Nick Sherry has blown the lid on Australia’s greatest rort, the $210 billion unfunded public sector defined benefit superannuation schemes.
The Canberra public service beneficiaries of this rort are often the very people who are attacking legitimate savers in the private sectors who put money aside to pay for their retirement.
…it is outrageous that “protected” public servants should be plotting against private savers whose level of retirement savings depends on investment returns.
And at that time, many others including The Australian’s David Crowe weighed in:
Labor’s budget strike on wealthy Australians has opened a hornet’s nest of inequity, as politicians, senior public servants and judges are spared the full force of changes that will raise $2.5 billion from superannuation.
The Gillard government scrambled to clarify its tax plans late yesterday as experts slammed the measures for hurting workers trying to save for their retirement without imposing the same penalties on others.
As the Coalition accused Labor of waging “class warfare” with its budget handouts, industry groups declared it unfair to extract tax revenue from superannuation in ways that could not be levied equally on everyone earning the same income.
The latest round of speculation about the Laboral Party dipping their hands into private citizens’ retirement savings has culminated in the usual scramble of hastily issued denials and butt-covering. But make no mistake, the real war between the ruling class and We The People over superannuation will not go away:
Julia Gillard’s move yesterday to rule out taxes on income from superannuation balances over $1 million may have cut off one new revenue raising option for the May budget, but like a hydra-headed monster, other options to milk the $1.4 trillion industry are set to emerge.
The possibilities now under consideration include new taxes on contributions for higher income earners and a possible increase in the 15 per cent tax on investments in superannuation.
But the increasing anger over the past week at the prospect of a tax on withdrawals on superannuation funds worth more than $1m, or even a mooted $800,000, highlights the political risks of the government’s persistent meddling…
Now here’s the thing. One of the reasons this is a hot story in the media, is because it is controversial. It plays beautifully into the “Us vs Them” false paradigm that is the heart of social engineering. And on more than one level.
It’s not just the broader public “Us” versus the smaller political class “Them”.
The media (and so, much of the public) have engaged in a hot debate about low-middle-income “Us” versus high-income-earning “Them”.
On more considered inspection, what I am seeing is the slow rise and rise of yet another false paradigm. One that I think is perhaps even more insidious than the old revolutionary standbys, the “workers vs capitalists”, “proletariat vs bourgousie”, and “people vs politicians”.
What I am seeing is a new variation on the theme. Generation X + Y + Z “we don’t have much super yet” “Us” … versus Baby Boomer “those bastards DO have a lot of super” “Them”.
In other words, what we are seeing being fostered here is inter-generational warfare.
It is another very useful weapon in the armoury of social engineers, with which to bring about the “social revolution” needed to usher in their self-serving dystopian fantasies. It is a subtle weapon that works in exactly the same way as “female empowerment” and “same-sex equality” … by creating and fostering a false paradigm of social dis-harmony and division.
I’ve been seeing the same basic argument raised all over the news comments and financial blogosphere, by poor downtrodden oppressed (note, sarcasm) Gen X-Y-Zers like your humble blogger – that tax concessions on superannuation for “wealthy” baby boomers should be withdrawn. A common argument being bandied about is that “Sure, $1million may only represent $38K per annum and that’s not much to live on in retirement, BUT that is calculated by NOT drawing down the principal; those greedy, lazy Baby Boomers should be calculating their superannuation drawdowns so they are stony broke when they kick the bucket.”
I take issue with that rationale.
Once upon a time, it was … scary old-fashioned word coming up … traditional, for adults of the species to aspire to leave an inheritance for their children. And for society to consider such aspirations admirable, and conducive to social stability.
(Indeed, our very own Laboral Party politicians all solemnly proclaim that they want a free and independent society of self-reliant individuals, and that they wholeheartedly support the noble and worthy aspiration to succeed in life, save, and so be able to support oneself in retirement, and so NOT become a burden on the taxpayer. Until they start running out of other people’s money to squander, that is. Then, you are magically and instantly transformed, by the power of self-serving political “necessity”, into an evil “wealthy” person who needs to be taxed more, in order for society to be made more “fair” and “equitable”)
No longer is it fashionable, indeed conscionable, to leave an inheritance for your children, or so it seems. Now, in these modern advanced times, such notions are deplorable. Calculate your entire wealth to the last penny, and make sure you die penniless. Ungrateful offspring be damned.
I do wonder whether those same Gen X-Y-Zers who are eagerly falling for the “greedy Baby Boomers” inter-generational-warfare-as-tool-of-social-revolution-and-control nonsense, and want to see their parents’ retirement savings taxed harder, have really thought this thing through.
But I digress.
What I am most interested in is the obscene, unconscionable hypocrisy of the ruling class in this country.
The politicians, of every bent.
And the armada of “senior public servants” who really run the country.
So, rather than wading into the inter-generational warfare trap that others so readily fall into, let us retain our love of each other, our parents, and our friends’ parents.
And look instead to the real enemy.
Those #&^%$! on the telly -
Retiring MP’s have income for life
Nicola Roxon will leave parliament with a six-figure pension.
The former attorney-general and former Senate Leader Chris Evans will each be rewarded in their political retirement with incomes more than $50,000 above the average wage.
Ms Roxon could receive more than $120,000 a year for life, while Mr Evans’ pension could exceed $140,000 a year.