Tag Archives: superannuation

Australian Government Steals $331 Million From Savings, Retirement Accounts

28 Sep

Another one for any mockers who wrongly assumed that this blog would be partisan once the Coalition returned to power.

From the Australian:

A CASH grab from ordinary Australians’ bank and superannuation accounts has netted the government $331 million as Treasurer Joe Hockey warned of a worsening budget position.

Labor had forecast a $30.1 billion deficit this financial year but as he confirmed a deterioration, Mr Hockey also said the Coalition would raise the $300 billion debt ceiling before Christmas.

Labor believed it would rake $109 million from idle bank accounts after it decided in February to take into government revenue accounts which had been untouched for three years.

Instead, the raid on idle accounts, which previously happened after seven years, reaped $176 million and another $155 million was taken from unclaimed superannuation accounts under a new threshold.

How many times have I warned that the politicians will steal your savings … especially your retirement savings?

It does not matter which “side” is in government. Both will use any excuse to screw the rest of us.

If you’ve not learned that yet … how old are you, really?

Crisis Management: APRA To Be Given Power To “Direct” Your Super

17 Jul
Australian Treasury,  Strengthening APRA's Crisis Management Powers, September 2012, page 34 (click to enlarge)

Australian Treasury, Strengthening APRA’s Crisis Management Powers, September 2012, page 34 (click to enlarge)

It’s been a big week for your humble blogger, vis-a-vis finding incriminating evidence on government websites.

Here’s another example of something I have warned of (repeatedly) since the inception of this blog, now coming to fruition.

That like so many other countries in the Western world since 2008, our government too would, someday, use the pretext of “crisis management” to steal your super to prop up an insolvent financial system.

Today, we learn that the Orwellian euphemism that has been chosen to describe this process in Australia, is “direction powers”.

From the Australian Treasury’s Consultation Paper, Strengthening APRA’s Crisis Management Powers, September 2012 (my bold emphasis added):

2.3.1 Potential new direction triggers

…it is being considered whether APRA should have new direction powers in relation to superannuation.

The purpose of the direction powers would be for the rectification of significant problems, in the nature of an enforcement power.

Possible triggers for the issue of a direction might include:

  • a breach of the RSE licensee law or licence condition;
  • an anticipated breach of the RSE licensee law or licence condition;
  • promoting instability in the Australian financial system;
  • conducting affairs in an improper or financially unsound way; and
  • where the failure to issue the direction would materially prejudice the interests or reasonable expectations of beneficiaries of the superannuation entity.

Note carefully what is being described here.

Earlier in the same document, the Treasury department bemoaned that:

APRA has comprehensive direction powers in relation to ADIs, general insurers and life insurers but not in relation to RSE licensees, even though the superannuation sector holds approximately $1.4 trillion in savings and a number of superannuation entities hold tens of billions of dollars in assets.

Oh dear! All that money, just sitting there making private sector fund managers rich on fees, and they (the government) don’t have the power to direct what happens to it. Sacre bleu!

Treasury went on to say that APRA needs an “early intervention tool” that is “preemptive”, and so allows it to “address a superannuation entity’s deterioration or non-compliance with prudential requirements”:

Australian Treasury, Strengthening APRA's Crisis Management Powers, September 2012, page 34 (click to enlarge)

Australian Treasury, Strengthening APRA’s Crisis Management Powers, September 2012, page 34 (click to enlarge)

Now here is where the cunning comes in.

How do you ensure that you give yourself the ability to “trigger” your new “enforcement power”, in order to give “direction” to a superannuation fund to … oh let’s say … direct a percentage of its (ie, yours, dear reader) money into government bonds to support the national government’s solvency? Or to the shares of a collapsing bank? Or to the shares in a new “bridging institution”, as directed by the FSB under its new, G20-wide bank resolution “bail-in” regime?


You establish a set of “triggers” for your new “direction power”. Just like those they have listed above. Including, most notably, the trigger that — in their judgment — “the failure to issue the direction would materially prejudice the interests or reasonable expectations of beneficiaries of the superannuation entity.”

In other words, if APRA (or the IMF, or FSB, who now tell APRA what to do) were to decide that it “would materially prejudice” your interests if they did NOT “direct” your super fund to do whatever the government wants, then that is all the “trigger” they need to enforce a “direction” on your super savings.

Don’t believe me?

Think I’m twisting what they said?

Read it again.

Very carefully.

With special note of this:

Enhancing direction powers in superannuation would allow APRA to detail specifically how an entity must address an identified concern. Direction powers would enable APRA to direct the entity as to what should be done to remedy the situation…

What if the “identified concern” is that failure to issue the direction would materially prejudice the interests or reasonable expectations of beneficiaries of the superannuation entity”?

Or what if the “identified concern” is simply that the super funds are not parking your money in the “investments” that the government wants them to, and that this is or could be “promoting instability in the Australian financial system” — another one of the “triggers” listed?

By this action, the government is effectively abrogating to itself what is essentially an unlimited power to “direct” your super fund to do “specifically” whatever the government says with your money, under the dangerously broad, and subjective, Big-Brother-Knows-Best pretext that “failure to issue the direction would materially prejudice” your interests.

See also:

Your Super Screwed By The Laboral Party

Stealing Our Super – I DARE You To Ignore This Now

How The Media Uncritically Enables The Growth Of Super(annuation) Parasites

19 May

I fear there are no words to adequately express my contempt for the so-called “journalists” in our mainstream media.

So I won’t even try.

See for yourself, dear reader, whether my headline is apt, or no.

Here is Sid Maher & Joe Kelly of The Australian (my bold added):

Levy hike deferral ‘to cost $55bn’

INDUSTRY super funds have warned that Tony Abbott’s planned two-year delay in increasing the superannuation guarantee will cost workers a combined $55 billion in lost retirement earnings over seven years.

The warning from the Industry Super Network came as business groups split over the Opposition Leader’s budget reply speech…

[…seven paragraphs of diversionary bullsh!t posing as “reporting”…]

Industry Super Network chief executive David Whiteley said the proposed delay in the compulsory increase would result in a cumulative impact of $45bn less in super savings in the system over the next seven years.

“The figure rises to $55bn when the Coalition’s proposed abolition of the low-income earners’ superannuation concession is also taken into account,” he said.

ISN economists had estimated the delay would yield short-term budget savings of $1bn per annum over the next seven years but reduce super inflows by more than $5bn per annum.

Er… Sid? Joe? Hello … anyone home?!

How exactly did the Industry Super Network come up with those figures that you have reported parrotted from their press release, oh so authoritatively?

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Did the ISN show you their modelling?  Their assumptions?  Their raw source data?

Did you not see a big red flag waving when you read their press release (er.. you did read it, right?), claiming that the decision would “reduce super inflows by more than $5bn per annum”?

Did it not occur to you that these folks make their “living” from the fees they plunder off those “super inflows”?

Is it at all possible that the “economists” of the ISN are little more than completely full of sh!t, rent-seeking societal parasites,  who have concocted some very convenient, nice-big-round-multiples-of-five numbers ($55bn, $45bn, $5bn) — forecasts, no less — for no other reason than to pressure Coalition politicians into changing policy, hoping to ensure that they do receive their long barracked for, extra super “inflows” / income stream?

“Given the enormous cost to [our much-anticipated income stream boost] … ISN urges the Coalition to reconsider its plans.”

Oh yes, one last question.

Where (and when) did the ISN’s blonde Campaign Manager last take you boys out to lunch?

Screen shot 2013-05-19 at 5.36.26 PM

Barnaby: Australia Has Some Of The Highest TOTAL Debt Levels In The World

4 Apr

Senator Joyce writes for the Canberra Times (my emphasis added):

No saving graces as Labor alliance targets our savings

I always believed a net debt figure that assumed using public servants’ superannuation savings to pay off public debt was an absurdity. Well, now the Labor-Green-independent alliance is proposing that super be used to pay off debt.

When you tax more of something you end up with less of it. Why then does the Labor government want to raise taxes on superannuation? Do we really need a lower savings rate, and therefore more consumption in Australia?

Australia has some of the highest total debt levels in the world. In net terms, from the public and private sectors, we owe more than $700 billion to overseas countries. In terms of our GDP this is the eighth highest level of debt in the world, behind countries such as Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain.

Our debt is partly a consequence of a mining boom, where billions has been invested in our mining industry. Private companies need to take on debt to build these assets and we can’t fund all of these investments from domestic savings. But that is no reason to unnecessarily reduce domestic savings even further, and increase our reliance on foreign debt even more. We should be doing the opposite. We should be making it easier and more attractive for Australians to save. Our tax system barely does that now, however.

Let’s say you get a $1000 bonus from your boss. You have two basic choices: you can spend the money, or you can save the money. If you spend the money you will pay about 30 per cent in income tax and a 10 per cent GST. This leaves you with around $600 to spend on say a flat-screen TV. You pay no more taxes after that.

If you save the money by, say, putting it into bank account, you will pay the income tax up front, and then get taxed every year on the interest you get paid in that bank account, including on the part of the interest that just compensates you for inflation.

On that basis, the “double taxation” of savings is a raw deal. That’s one of the reasons why we offer a lower tax rate on superannuation: to encourage people to save not spend; to encourage individuals to make provision for their own retirement, rather than all of us having to fund pensions for everyone.

With an ageing population, that problem is only going to become worse and we should be looking to encourage more Australians to save rather than raise yet more taxes on superannuation. That’s exactly what the Coalition has proposed. We have proposed a 10 cents in the dollar tax concession for those that put money into super funds that invest in nation-building infrastructure. It’s a two- birds-with-one-stone approach. We encourage more people to save and have more funds available to invest in the roads, rail and water infrastructure a growing nation desperately needs.

The reality is Labor know all this. They know that we should encourage savings not spending. There is only one reason that they are looking to raise taxes on our savings. They have run out of money and need more of your savings to pay for their debts.

Any government looking to raise taxes on you should be required to get their own spending in order first. Our government is not spending our money wisely enough to be deserving of us giving it more. The Green-Labor-independent alliance spent years promising that our debt is not a problem. If our debt is not a problem, why do they need to raise taxes on our savings?

Cleaning up after this fiasco will be an infuriating task. They create a fiasco selling mining licences without the appropriate oversight and in inappropriate area. Somehow the Coalition is left explaining what we will do to rectify their problem.

They shut down trade with major trading partners in Indonesia and decimated the northern cattle industry and we are asked how we will fix it up.

One of the key reasons that I believe that I have a duty to stand against a key player in this Green-Labor-independent alliance, in Tony Windsor, is that you cannot possibly fix anything from Opposition. That means my job is to help win seats off the government wherever they are standing. Tony Windsor is a key member of that government and it is his job to defend the record of waste, mismanagement and higher taxes of the government he chose.

Shorten Studies Israel Option For Aussies’ Super

23 Apr

One of the themes we have long followed here at barnabyisright.com is this blogger’s conviction that Australians will inevitably be caught up in the wave of government theft of citizens’ superannuation that has been slowly but surely sweeping the Western world since the GFC.

Indeed, as we have documented many times, the tide has already gone out in preparation for the big wave’s arrival on our shores, with Labor having quietly implemented a sneaky Liberal party policy aiming to direct your employer to send your future super payments to a special new department at the ATO, not directly to your super fund.

We have previously seen that PM-in-waiting Bill Shorten, Minister for Superannuation, has described Australians’ $1.3 Trillion in individual superannuation savings as “our sovereign wealth fund”, a “significant national asset”.

In today’s Australian newspaper, we learn that Shorten is off to Israel to meet and greet, and investigate the Israeli superannuation fund industry.

Your humble blogger’s sceptical eyebrow was raised sharply on noting that, while the emphasis of the story is that, purportedly, Bill is visiting Israel “to examine ways for the retirement savings system to help kick-start the Australian venture capital business” – a disturbing development in its own right – Bill’s spokeswoman let a very different kind of cat out of the bag:

SOME of the leading figures in the multi-trillion-dollar superannuation sector will join federal Financial Services Minister Bill Shorten on a visit to Israel later this week as the government examines ways for the retirement savings system to help kick-start the Australian venture capital business.

Joining Mr Shorten on the visit will be Australian Prudential Regulation Authority deputy chairman Ross Jones, MLC chief executive Steve Tucker and Challenger Group retirement income chairman Jeremy Cooper, author of the contentious Cooper Report on the superannuation sector.

During the visit, co-ordinated by the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce and the Israeli embassy, the group will meet executives of leading Israeli financial services companies, including its largest insurance group, Migdal, and fellow insurer Clal Insurance Enterprise Holdings.

It will also meet officials of the Capital Market, Insurance, and Savings Department, which supervises insurance and the long-term savings market.

Mr Shorten is also planning one-on-one meetings with Bank of Israel governor Professor Stanley Fischer, chief scientist Avi Hasson and Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

“The chamber is very excited about the Shorten-led trade mission,” said AICC chairman Paul Israel, who is based in Tel Aviv. “For the first time Australian pension funds will be exposed to the vibrant and innovative Israeli venture capital and hi-tech scene.”

Mr Israel said the week-long trade mission would investigate how Israel — with 7.2 million people, a third of the size of Tasmania, 60 per cent desert, only 63 years old with limited natural resources — had produced more start-ups than large, peaceful and stable nations such as Japan, India, Korea, Canada, Britain and Australia.

It would look at Israel’s superannuation, tax reform, venture capital and seed fund models, as well as its innovation and entrepreneurship culture, he said.

A spokeswoman for Mr Shorten said it was important that super funds looked beyond traditional assets classes and the government was keen to remove investment barriers to them.

She said the trip was designed to improve Australian super funds’ understanding of Israel as an investment destination, particularly in light of the strong venture capital sector there.

Hold on. Wasn’t the purpose of the trip to examine “ways for the retirement savings system to help kick-start the Australian venture capital business”?

Mr Shorten also hopes Australian super funds can get an understanding of how Israel’s pension funds go about investing in innovative and early stage companies.

“Innovative” and “early stage”.

That is bankster and speculator code for “high risk”.

Given the volatility on global share markets, and the parlous state of the global economy, one wonders why any responsible politician would be interested in finding ways to direct their citizens’ retirement savings into high risk start-up ventures.

In Australia … or Israel.

Labor Threatens Super Funds To Prop Up The Banks

5 Apr

Illustration by Zeg | Click to enlarge

I accept that some readers may not see the red flag that I see waving all over the following story.

So be it.

In my view, what we have here is a clear preliminary step down the path to government “intervention”, to “save your super” from the risks of the “volatile” sharemarkets.

First by “encouraging”, later forcing, your super fund to invest where the government dictates is a “safe” place for your retirement savings.

That could be the “safety” of government bonds.

Or perhaps, as strongly hinted at by this story, it could be the “safety” of bonds issued by our banking system … who just happen to be “overleveraged” according to the ratings agencies, and recently pitched threatened the government to help them with additional sources of funding in order to “save the mining boom”.

The ‘softening up’ process, the art of steadily planting seeds in the public mind and preparing them for a future event, is called “perception management”.

Here is Business Spectator’s Stephen Bartholomuesz making the argument for the government … prompted by a speech from the former Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner, in which he clearly threatened “government intervention” to force super funds to invest where the government wants them to (more on Tanner’s threat below):

Former federal finance minister Lindsay Tanner may have been overstating the risk of government intervention to correct a perceived bias towards equities within superannuation fund portfolios yesterday but the issue he was highlighting is worthy of further discussion because it contributes to the debate about the need for a developed corporate bond market in Australia.

In a speech to the Ownership Matters conference in Melbourne yesterday Tanner actually approached the issue of the overexposure of super funds to equities from that starting point – the absence of a developed domestic corporate bond market.

The disproportionately high levels of exposure to equities in most balanced fund portfolios is only one strand of the explanation for the absence of a functioning domestic bond market, albeit a material one.

During the great decades-long bull market in equities leading up to the global financial crisis, the bias towards equities in most super funds generated returns that, from a long-run perspective, were aberrational. The GFC reminded investors, and super fund members, that while equities might deliver higher returns relative to most other asset classes over the long term they do so because they carry greater latent risk.

As the population ages, the tolerance for risk will decline. Indeed, with the GFC as a wake-up call, it has already declined. Hence the deluge of funds that has poured into term deposits and other fixed interest securities as investors and super funds have been introduced, painfullly, to the concept of risk-adjusted returns.

Translation: For decades, everyone’s super went into the sharemarket; thanks to the GFC everyone has lost a fortune; now, everyone is more risk averse, and so their money is going into lower risk investments like term deposits.

For the foreseeable future the environment for equity markets is likely to be quite different to that which prevailed before the GFC.

That would suggest that, particularly for the demographic bulge moving towards retirement, the appetite for equities will diminish and therefore the proportion of equities within fund portfolios will trend and remain lower than it was pre-GFC.

As I was saying.

And now – for those with eyes to see – the red “danger!” flag appears (emphasis added):

We’ve already seen a flurry of listed corporate bond issues earlier this year as companies have capitalised on the risk aversion and desire for yield of investors, particularly the rapidly-growing self-managed fund sector.

If the major banks were to issue listed bonds, and the federal government ever delivers on its promise to facilitate the listing of Commonwealth government securities – which would provide a pricing benchmark for all other issues – a properly functioning, liquid corporate bond market that can be accessed by retail investors and SMSFs could be developed, one which might also encourage the large super funds to become bigger players.

As regular readers know, this clearly hints at exactly what I have long argued is the inevitable fate of Aussies’ super.  Our all-knowing, all-caring Big Brother government – whether Labor or Liberal matters not – will decide to “help” you, by creating mechanisms to redirect some (and eventually, all) of your super into “investments” that the government deems to be “safer” than the share market, and/or “investments” that are “in the national interest”.

They already tried last year, by “encouraging” super funds to invest in their “nation building” infrastructure programs like the NBN. Fortunately, the super funds were smart enough to resist.

But when push comes to shove, you can be sure that the government will move on from “encouraging”, to enforcing.

For your own good, of course.

Back to Batholomuesz:

Given the post-GFC environment for the major banks – they are holding a lot more capital, more and more expensive liquidity, experiencing higher funding costs and face the imposition of a simple leverage ceiling within an economy where households and businesses are deleveraging and demand for credit is therefore very weak by historical standards – it is unlikely that they will return to intermediating mid-teens credit growth any time soon.

Indeed, having had a nasty experience during the GFC, when their own overexposure to wholesale funding markets highlighted their own vulnerabilities, it is likely that the banks will manage their balance sheets far more conservatively in future than they have in the past, with an acute focus on the stability of their funding.

One of the reasons the major banks built up their reliance on offshore wholesale funding was the increasing diversion of Australian savings from bank accounts to super – and a majority of it into equities – as the super system grew over the past quarter of a century.

Bartholomuesz clearly argues that the banks are overreliant on offshore funding because you and I preferred to have our super in the stock market. The thinly-veiled implication is that the banks’ current problems are really our fault, you see. And the unstated implication being, that it makes sense for our super to fix that problem now, by redirecting it into bonds issued by those “safe as houses” banks.

More of those funds within the super system will, if fund members and their trustees shift to a more balanced and defensive posture and (thanks to the GFC) have a better understanding of risk-adjusted returns, become available to both the banks and corporate borrowers.

And there you have it.

We all just need to “have a better understanding of risk-adjusted returns”, and everything will be rosy … we will want to have our super invested in bonds issued by the big banks.

Even if it is just a “relatively modest” amount of our super:

Given the size and growth rate of the super system, relatively modest re-weightings of fund portfolios away from equities to fixed interest securities could have very significant impacts and could – indeed, should – occur without any need for government intervention.

That red flag is waving a little more strongly now.

And if we still don’t want to have our super propping up the banks?

Bartholomuesz’ final sentence rings out like the death knell I believe this article signals:

There probably aren’t too many super fund members who’d be enthusiastic about the prospect of Wayne Swan dictating how their savings were deployed.


Won’t stop him though.

Take the carbon tax CO2 derivatives scam as a case in point.

And if we consider closely what Lindsay Tanner wrote in the Australian Financial Review yesterday, then I think it is crystal clear what the government has in mind:

As the vast sums involved here are compulsorily directed to a particular form of saving which enjoys preferential tax treatment, those managing the funds can hardly go on about the sanctity of the free market. As concerns about corporate funding rise, and worries about risk in our super system mount, the only guaranteed way to avoid government intervention is for the major players to deal with the issues themselves.

For those with eyes to see and ears to hear, that is a clear threat to super fund managers.

Redirect Aussies’ super into propping up the banks.

Or the government will make you.

Big Banks Call For Government To Raid Your Super To Give To Them To “Save The Mining Boom”

31 Mar

Well, no. That’s not exactly what they said.

But if you have the ability to look beyond the end of your nose; if you have seen that governments across the “developed” world have been stealing their citizens’ super to prop up their own and their banks’ finances; if you have seen the dire state of the Federal budget; and if you have seen the sneaky policy quietly introduced by the Liberal Party, and now implemented by the Labor Party, then the unstated implication is clear.

Some day soon, a tapped out Australian Government – whether Labor or Liberal – will “borrow” your super to give to the banks.

In our “national economic interest”.

In the opinion of your humble blogger, this is as clear and as inevitable as the rising of the sun on a crisp cloudless morning.

The rays illuminating this truth have been faintly flickering over the horizon, ever more brightly, for well over a year.

Now, it is dawning.

The only question is this – Who is awake early to see it?

From the Australian (emphasis added):

Funding shortfall threatens resources projects

THE economy’s ability to reap the full benefits of the once in a generation resources boom is in jeopardy, with major projects facing a funding gap as more foreign banks leave the Australian market and local lenders struggle with ongoing turmoil in financial markets.

The big four banks all warn that a record pipeline of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of resources-related projects cannot be met by the banking sector alone while it is being crunched by current economic instability and is being forced to raise its capital levels to comply with new global banking rules.

A range of submissions from the major banks to a Productivity Commission inquiry into the future of the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) show the banks are worried the funding shortfall is set to worsen.

There are fears that a funding gap will exacerbate the “hollow nation” notion that Australia is not capitalising on the boom.

Oh dear! Where to begin?

On the one hand, there are many (including your humble blogger) who have cogently argued that both the Treasury Secretary’s and RBA Governor’s economic policy settings are deliberately geared to hollowing out the rest of the economy to “make room” for the mining boom. Both Treasury and the RBA have openly admitted this. Their deliberate high AUD policy is the most disastrous example. But now, the new claim is that the Big Banks need an extra source of funding, or else the nation will be hollowed out by not maximising a mining boom?! Orwell would be proud.

The biggest bank, the Commonwealth, predicts that the number of banks lending in the Australian market will shrink further.

Translation: We know that Wayne has made “increased bank competition” a mantra, hoping to placate voters’ anger; what better way to pitch for government “help” than to warn (threaten) of a future with reduced competition.

National Australia Bank’s group executive of wholesale banking, Rick Sawers, said there was a risk that funding to the resources sector could become constrained, which would ultimately hold back the sector’s growth.

“As project capital costs have increased, particularly in the infrastructure and natural resources sectors, maximum individual bank exposure amounts are being tested,” Mr Sawers said.

He said “additional sources of capital” were required.

Mr Sawers said Australia needed to ensure that international sovereign wealth funds were encouraged to invest in the local market.

The banks argued that there was a role for EFIC to provide funding to ensure export-oriented projects could be developed.

So if it is true that the big banks are going to have difficulty accessing enough money from overseas to finance Wayne’s oft-touted “massive investment pipeline” in mining, where do you think the extra money is going to come from?

If investment by international sovereign wealth funds in Australia’s mining boom was such an obvious winner for them, there would be no problem, and no need to “encourage” them, now would there?

There is another “sovereign wealth fund”, that could more easily be “encouraged” by government to “invest” in the Big Banks.

Consider: What is by far the biggest pool of “savings” that could be quickly and easily tapped, by a tapped out Federal Government?

Why, the fourth largest retirement savings pool in the world, of course! The $1.3 Trillion in Aussies’ combined superannuation savings. The pool of funds described by Minister for Superannuation and PM-in-waiting, Bill Shorten, as “our” “sovereign wealth fund”, a “significant national asset” that “strengthens our financial sector“:

Superannuation is our sovereign wealth fund

This week marks 12 months exactly since the government announced plans to take compulsory superannuation from 9 per cent to 12 per cent.

… our superannuation savings place Australia fourth in the world. Its $1.3 trillion in funds under management through superannuation significantly boosts national savings and provides greater retirement security for millions of Australians. Superannuation is also a significant national asset because it strengthens our financial sector.

It is the same pool of funds that Gillard has already tried “encouraging” to invest in government “infrastructure projects”, like the NBN –

The Gillard government’s 2011-12 budget has proposed a raft of initiatives aimed at encouraging superannuation fund and private investment in infrastructure projects.




Back to the Big Banks’ veiled threat:

Westpac warned that the major Australian banks were already facing “considerable pressure” because of large resource-related projects and the ongoing squeeze in global financial markets, while other funding sources “cannot meet the demand for funding created by the historically strong project pipeline in Australia at present”.

ANZ said an estimated $109bn in debt would be needed to finance projects this year and Germany’s Deutsche Bank said the impact of the global financial crisis was still being felt four years on as banks were forced to restrict their lending.

The banks’ warnings are contained in new submissions to Julia Gillard’s chief micro-economic adviser in a bid to convince it to reverse a recommendation that EFIC be cut back.

The Productivity Commission has accused EFIC, the government’s export credit agency, of handing out damaging subsidies to big exporters.

Now do you understand why the ALP government has passed legislation to increase the compulsory superannuation levy on employers by 33.3% – from 9% to 12% – and is using the blatant lie that the mining tax will pay for the increase to smear over the truth, that it is small business who will wear the extra cost, even though the Treasury and RBA’s policy settings are already sending small businesses bankrupt in record numbers?

Now do you understand why Tony Abbott claims that he does not support the superannuation increase, but has refused to repeal it on becoming PM?

Make no mistake, dear reader.

That is the new dawn coming over the horizon.

What has already happened in countries like the USA, UK, France, Ireland, Portugal, Poland, Hungary, Argentina, and many more, will happen here too.

It is just a matter of time.

For more, here is a selection of previous articles, in reverse chronological order:

Grand Theft Super – A Very Subtle Form Of Theft

Another Government Raid On Citizens’ Super

It Has Begun – Labor Steals Liberal’s Idea To Steal Your Super

“And Now They’re Coming For Your F***ing Retirement Money”

Stealing Our Super – I DARE You To Ignore This Now

Money Morning Agrees – Your Retirement Savings Under Threat

Now The UK Government Is Stealing Super Too

US Treasury “Borrowing” Of Federal Pensions Brings Theft Of Private Pensions One Step Closer

Liberal Party’s Sneaky Plan To Steal Your Super To Pay Labor’s Debt

No Super For You!!

Abbott’s Super Hypocrisy Raises Darker Questions

26 Mar

Ask yourself this, dear reader.

If the leader of a political party that proclaims supporting small business is “part of our DNA” truly believed that a new government law was bad for small business, then why would he refuse to repeal that bad law on becoming Prime Minister?

TONY Abbott has scoffed at Labor assurances that employers will not have to pay for Julia Gillard’s increase in the superannuation guarantee, but has reaffirmed the Coalition will not repeal it in office.

Passage of the legislation has sparked concern from employers that they will bear the extra cost, estimated to be worth $20bn a year by the end of the phase-in period, but Mr Shorten said the money would come from deferred wage increases negotiated as part of enterprise bargaining.

Yesterday, after businesses and unions rejected Mr Shorten’s explanation, the Opposition Leader said: “It’s very obvious who is going to pay for the superannuation increases.

“It’s not the mining tax; it’s not federal government. The superannuation increases are going to be paid for by business, in particular by small business.

“This is a $20bn impost once it’s fully implemented on small business and I understand why, on top of every thing else — the carbon tax, mining tax, the private health insurance tax — why small businesses are not very happy about it.”

Mr Abbott said Labor had attempted to deceive Australians over the issue.

But he said that while the opposition voted against the [MRRT] legislation and did not support an increase in superannuation, it would not repeal the move when it next took office.

Why not, Mr Abbott?

Could it have anything to do with your sneaky plan to steal our super, quietly released as formal Liberal Party policy on June 3, 2011?

A policy that has now been stolen, and implemented, by the ALP?

After all, Barnaby Joyce has repeatedly warned that public servants’ super in the Future Fund would be used to help pay down Labor’s monster debt.

But the Future Fund is tiny, compared to Australia’s ever-mounting pile of government debt. And it is positively microscopic, compared to the massive debt exposures of our house-of-cards, government-guaranteed banking system, that is teetering on the precipice.

No doubt Mr Abbott, you and your Big Banking friends would love to have an extra 3% of the nation’s combined payroll being siphoned off struggling employers directly to the ATO – as per your sneaky new policy of last June – and from the ATO straight into short-term money market interest-bearing investments, “managed” for fees plus monster salaries by parasite bankers, before (hopefully, someday, maybe) actually getting to each Aussie citizens’ personal super fund.

And no doubt whatsoever to this humble blogger, that is the real reason why you are bleating hypocritical platitudes about how the ALP’s superannuation policy is bad for small business, and making all the right noises claiming that you do not support it … while refusing to repeal it yourself.

As has been so well-evidenced by the CO2 derivatives scam, our so-called “democracy” really is “an unholy alliance of politicians and bankers versus ordinary people”:

Three-Quarters Of Turkeys Vote For Christmas Super

20 Mar

From Yahoo!7 News:

Three-quarters of Australians support having the superannuation guarantee lifted to 12 per cent, an ACTU-commissioned survey has found.

The union movement is releasing polling results as the Senate prepares to vote on the mining tax, which would fund the three-percentage-point increase in the super contribution.

The online poll of 1000 people found 75 per cent of respondents to be in favour of the policy.

*Thump* *Thump*

Yes, dear reader.

That is the sound of your humble blogger beating his chest, to restart his shocked heart.

Stunning, is it not?

75% of people surveyed like the idea of getting money for nothing.

Because that is what the average Aussie thinks an increase in “compulsory superannuation” means.

More money for moi. Without doing anything whatsoever to earn it.

Little do they realise that any and every increase in compulsory superannuation, must be paid for by their employer.

And most Aussies are employed by small businesses, who are struggling like never before.

Indeed, there was a 48% increase in small business bankruptcies last year.

Your humble blogger has lots of anecdotal evidence from fellow small businesspeople, who say that they simply can not afford to pay extra superannuation, and will have no choice but to reduce hours and/or terminate staff if the government forces them to increase super contributions for their employees.

This survey is a classic example of turkeys voting for Christmas supper.

Because even if you are confident that your job will be unaffected, the fact is that you will suffer too if other people lose their jobs due to the government jacking up the rate of compulsory super.

How so?

Other people losing their jobs means one or all of the following consequences, that will eventually impact on you too:

Increased unemployment => reduced retail spending => more job losses => mortgage arrears increase => forced sales of homes => house price falls => bank “assets” value fall => bank credit ratings cut => increased cost of funding for banks => increased interest rates => more reductions in retail spending => more job losses => more mortgage arrears => more forced sales of homes => more house price falls => more bank “assets” value fall => more bank credit ratings cut => more increases in cost of funding for banks => more increases in interest rates =>  more reductions in retail spending => more job losses => more mortgage arrears => more forced sales of homes => more house price falls => more bank “assets” value fall => bank/s collapse => government taxpayer bailouts => “austerity” policy => increased taxes => more business failures => more unemployment => GET THE PICTURE?

At least there is one (1) politician who does seem to understand that small business is struggling, and simply can not afford to pay increased superannuation.

No, it’s not Barnaby Joyce.

It’s Andrew Robb:

TONY Abbott’s finance spokesman, Andrew Robb, has re-opened old divisions within the Coalition’s economic team over superannuation with an attack on Labor’s plan to boost workers’ retirement savings.

As Labor prepares to spruik the benefits of the super changes with moresuper.gov.au – its new website – predicting workers could be $100,000 better off at retirement, Mr Robb has again raised concerns about the impact on small business.

The Sunday Herald Sun can reveal Mr Robb, a senior members of the Liberal leader’s economic team, surprised colleagues with an attack on Mr Abbott’s policy not to repeal Labor’s boost to workers’ super if he wins office.

Andrew Robb has been on to this danger since at least November last year:

OPPOSITION finance spokesman Andrew Robb was excluded from the meeting where the Coalition’s leadership group decided it would not oppose the government’s planned increase to compulsory superannuation.

Senior Liberal sources said Mr Robb was “ropeable” at the decision to exclude him from the Friday telephone hook-up between the opposition leadership group and assistant Treasury spokesman Mathais Cormann, chaired by the Opposition Leader, that decided to back the super guarantee rise.

The opposition finance spokesman is understood to be pushing a message that a Coalition government will need to live within its means. He is understood to believe that with federal debt approaching $250bn the superannuation increases are unaffordable. Mr Robb previously said that at a time when many small businesses were struggling they could not afford to pay the extra compulsory super.

Andrew Robb is right.

His being right means … of course … that his viewpoint must be excluded.

Even by his own party colleagues.

Ain’t “democracy” grand?

Oh yes … about that headline story, of all the turkeys voting for Christmas.

The respondents to the survey weren’t the only turkeys having their say:

ACTU president Ged Kearney said the next few days were the last chance to pass the legislation before parliament went into a long recess ahead of the May 8 budget.

“It is time for all parliamentarians, including the Liberals, Nationals, Greens and independents to stop putting at risk the retirement savings of working Australians,” she said in a statement.

Take three (3) wild guesses at who makes millions from fees and commissions (and more) on compulsory super for employees that is paid into UNION industry super funds?

Your first two (2) guesses don’t count.

Anyone else in favour of lifting the rate of compulsory superannuation?

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees, the peak body for the $450-billion non-profit sector, is also delivering the government several thousand online and petition signatures.

Ummmmm … hello?!

What was it that Wayne has been banging on about lately?

Something about “vested interests” that are “threatening our democracy”, wasn’t it?

We are living in a nation populated, and ruled, by self-interested turkeys.

If only the ruled turkeys knew the consequences of voting for Christmas supper.

If only they knew that both sides of parliament already have formal policies and systems in place to steal their super, when the time is right.

*Gobble* *Gobble* ….

Take THAT, Politicians! Super Goes Backwards In 2011

20 Dec

As regular readers have known for quite some time, there’s far more to be concerned about than your super “nest egg” merely going backwards.

So, in the spirit of the silly season, let’s all look on the bright side.

It’s sort of nice to know, in a bittersweet kind of way, that the government is going to get less money when they finally do steal your super:

SUPERANNUATION funds have posted their worst performance since the height of the global financial crisis in 2008 as Europe’s debt problems cut returns from capital markets.

The fall in super valuations this year will be the second time in four years that pension funds have lost money, although the downturn is not as drastic as it was in 2008.

Research firm Chant West estimates that the average fund will have shrunk in value by around 2 per cent by the end of calendar 2011.

By contrast in 2008, funds lost an average of 21.5 per cent, according to Chant West data.

Chant West investment research manager Mano Mohankumar said that even after a 15.1 per cent rise in 2009 and 4.7 per cent return in 2010, many funds “still have some ground to make up”.

The latest data is based on 60 funds with balanced portfolios – typically around 30 per cent in Australian equities and 26 per cent overseas equities.

Mr Mohankumar said market volatility had eaten into workers’ investments and that this was likely to continue in 2012 as European leaders grappled with the fallout of the eurozone debt crisis.

“We expect the heightened uncertainty to continue over the next 12 months,” he said.

“We think the European situation will take longer to resolve than the markets hope it will.”

By the way, are you a reader of the generally excellent MacroBusiness superblog?

Then you might like to give the excellent contributor The Prince a good-humoured raspberry for stealing my witty “No Super For You!!” headline for his post yesterday … without attribution. A direct pinch … right down to the accompanying Seinfeld “Soup Nazi” image.


I think not.

Indeed, I think he knows exactly where he got it from … given that I personally alerted him to my numerous governments-are-confiscating-super articles and news source references – including the May 2011 original “No Super For You!” – a loooong time ago 😉

It seems that Barnaby (and admirers) are still too unfashionable for the experts to give credit where credit is due.

Even though the tides of time continue to prove that …

Barnaby is right.

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