Tag Archives: compulsory superannuation

Your Super Screwed By The Laboral Party

8 Feb

Oh dear.

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 –

Stealing Our Super: I DARE You To Ignore This Now
Labor Begins To Steal Your Super
It Has Begun – Labor Steals Liberal’s Idea To Steal Your Super

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.

Indeed.

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.

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Labor Begins To Steal Your Super

12 Sep

Barnaby was right.

From the Australian today (emphasis added):

Labor is planning to withdraw hundreds of millions of dollars from the Future Fund in an unprecedented move that will help the government meet its promise of returning the budget to surplus in 2012-13.

A spokeswoman for Finance Minister Penny Wong confirmed to The Australian that more than $250 million worth of assets were due to be withdrawn from the Future Fund in the 2012-13 financial year, despite the fund having been created, by Peter Costello, under the condition it was not to be touched before 2020.

The government, which has forecast a surplus of $3.5 billion in 2012-13 after several years of heavy deficits, claims that the assets will be returned to the fund at a future date.

But the opposition has slammed the move as “reckless and fiscally irresponsible”.

“The fact is that the government is planning to raid the Future Fund, including the revenue from the expected sale of Future Fund assets in its revenue forecasts, yet they haven’t been able to point us to where in the budget that money is supposed to be going back into the Future Fund,” opposition assistant Treasury spokesman Mathias Cormann said yesterday.

Mr Costello, the then treasurer, established the Future Fund in 2005 to cover the costs of future public servant superannuation liabilities. At the time, he told parliament: “The fund will only be drawn upon at the earliest in 2020 or a time when an independent actuary determines that the fund’s assets are sufficient to offset the unfunded part of the government’s accrued superannuation liabilities.”

The Future Fund’s own website sets out that “withdrawals from the Future Fund may only occur once the superannuation liability is fully offset or from 1 July 2020″.

A spokesman for the Future Fund confirmed the anticipated withdrawal was known to the fund and that this was the first time a withdrawal had been included in the budget bottom line.

Senator Cormann said the “real concern is that, if they get away with their plans to raid the Future Fund now they will do it again and again, every time they need more cash to fund their wasteful spending”.

“The Future Fund was set up by the Coalition after we paid off the Hawke-Keating debt and it shouldn’t be touched until the public service superannuation liability is under control,” he said.

Remember Barnaby Joyce’s forewarnings before this year’s May budget?

Before the budget (5th May):

In response to a question I put in Senate estimates, Treasury revealed that $64 billion of the difference between our gross debt and our net debt is made up of the cash and non-equity investments of the Future Fund. The Future Fund is there to cover the otherwise unfunded costs of public servants’ superannuation.

That is a little fact that the people of Canberra might be interested in. When Wayne mentions net debt translate that to, I am going to pay his debt off with my retirement savings.

And right after the budget (13th May):

Of course, the public servants will not be happy when we use their retirement savings, put aside in the Future Fund, to pay off some of Labor’s massive debt.

Barnaby was right when he forewarned of the US debt crisis.

And he is right again, about your super being stolen by our government.

Think it is only public servants’ super that is at risk of being stolen by our government?

Think again.

For quite some time now, your humble blogger has been covering the wave of government confiscations of private citizens’ retirement funds that has been sweeping the over-indebted Western World, and warning readers that it is going to happen here too.

The reason this has been happening in so many countries abroad, including the USA, UK, France, Ireland, Poland, and more?

Exactly the same reason as cited by our own government now.

To help meet the government’s budget targets. With the vague promise that the “borrowed” monies will be returned at some unspecified future date.

And we all know what most politicians’ promises are worth.

Barnaby Joyce is the only politician in our nation with the wisdom, foresight, integrity, and courage, to publicly confirm what this blogger has been repeatedly forewarning.

That government theft of private super savings, is a real and present danger here in Australia too.

And don’t kid yourself that a Coalition victory at the next election will save us.

The Liberal Party quietly announced a new policy on June 3 this year, that should have every citizen deeply concerned. It represents an even more blatant move to have the government get their hands on not only public servants’ super, but everyone’s super.

Learn more, in this most recent of my many previous blog articles on the topic:

Stealing Our Super – I DARE You To Ignore This Now

UPDATE:

Senator Wong denies that their plan is to steal public servants’ super.

Are you convinced?

I’m not.

Wong’s very opaque counterclaim is that they are “simply making a small change to the types of assets it holds”. The key here is having a very clear definition of exactly what is meant by “a small change”, and “types of assets”.

This denial in no way convinces me that Labor are not shuffling/stealing money (and/or figures) to meet their objective – a media headline of return to surplus in 2012-13. After all, this government has form for fiddling the books, as documented numerous times on this blog … and openly conceded by former Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner in his book after retiring.

And not just form for fiddling the books … there’s also this:

(March 2007) Peter Costello: Rudd will mortgage future, leaving kids to foot

(April 2009) Kevin Rudd raids Future Funds

I Should Have Listened To Barnaby Joyce – Sure Beats Listening To The “Experts”

10 Aug

A really great article by journalist Jill Singer.

Filled with honesty.

Humility.

And humanity.

From the Herald Sun:

Experts did nothing to prevent fall

It’s not so very long ago that only the wealthy invested in shares.

Nowadays, though, it seems even the lowest-paid workers must monitor the All-Ordinaries Index if they want to know how their final years will play out.

Will their super funds provide them with enough to live out their allotted years without relying on the kindness of strangers or the vagaries of government largesse?

Or will they work for as long as their bodies and minds allow before succumbing to a lesser life of niggling poverty, insecurity and guilt over being a “burden” on others?

Little wonder that the world seems engulfed by fear and greed.

In this age of compulsory super and self-managed funds, life has become a terrifying gamble.

Having money tied up in superannuation has become akin to being caught in a high-rise building during a bomb scare.

You know that if everyone starts running for the lifts the odds are that people will get crushed. Then again, wouldn’t it be nice to be the first one out of the door?

If we earn an income, we have no choice but to invest in super. But how on earth are ordinary folk expected to manage it when we know that if you have two economists, you’ll get five opinions?

I was like most small investors when the proverbial hit the global economic fan yet again last week – torn between the squirrel-like urge to shift my rapidly dwindling super into cash or to swallow the Government’s line that we are a privileged and robust economy.

In the end I chose the path of least resistance and did nothing.

I’m just not going to look at the damage and will only uncover my eyes when the fire has finally passed …

There are lessons for us all in this.

I should have listened to Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce when, in 2009, he warned about the potential (and then unthinkable) dangers of the US coming close to defaulting on its debt.

I should also have listened to Kenny Rogers: “You’ve got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them. Know when to walk away and know when to run.”

Sure beats listening to the advice of “experts”.

UPDATE:

One wonders whether Jill might now begin to reconsider her murderous devotion to the “experts” of the global warming cargo cult:

Then there’s David Murray, chair of Australia’s $71 billion Future Fund and recipient of a $28 million golden parachute from his time running the Commonwealth Bank. Murray states there’s no link between global warming and carbon dioxide emissions because carbon dioxide is necessary for life, colourless and odourless – and therefore can’t be considered a pollutant. It’s a popularly held view.

Andy Semple of the Menzies Institute claims it’s “refreshing” for someone with Murray’s standing to take on the global warming “scam” by expressing such views.

Really? I’m prepared to keep an open mind and propose another stunt for climate sceptics – put your strong views to the test by exposing yourselves to high concentrations of either carbon dioxide or some other colourless, odourless gas – say, carbon monoxide.

You wouldn’t see or smell anything. Nor would your anti-science nonsense be heard of again. How very refreshing.

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