Budget Shambles: Liberal Party implode on retrospective super changes

11 May 2016

The Budget is again coming crashing down, this time over Liberal Party infighting over retrospective superannuation measures, with the Government now publicly canvassing changes and consultation around the offending measures.

When the Liberal Party isn’t busy navel gazing on retrospectivity, they’re struggling to explain what the Budget measures do as former Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg demonstrated this morning in a train wreck of an interview with 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

In an interview about the Government’s Budget superannuation changes, Mr Frydenberg, a Cabinet Minister and former Assistant Treasurer seemed to have no idea how basic Budget superannuation measures work.

The former Assistant Treasurer continued the denial over retrospectivity, attempted to deny that super taxes were even increasing in the Budget, and refused to say what “unintended consequences” the Government were proposing to consult on.

It all begs the question: why didn’t Scott Morrison do with these measures what he did with other tax thought bubble over the last six months and kite fly them? Answer: the conservative wing would have reacted the way they’re reacting now.

The Foreign Minister Julie Bishop yesterday promised consultation on unintended consequences, a point reiterated by Mathias Cormann this morning.

What unintended consequences are the Government talking about?

The consultation should have occurred prior to the measures being announced.

And what is this consultation, after the election, supposed to be achieve? How much will any changes cost the Budget?

Later on in the morning, the Prime Minister was asked:

JOURNALIST: On the question of retrospectivity, yesterday your deputy Julie Bishop said that she would be getting feedback on unintended consequences. Can we expect any changes to the super package?

TURNBULL: No. The super changes are set out in the Budget.

So what will the point be of any post-election consultation?

This is a re-run of the Government’s disastrous backpacker tax measure, where the day after the Budget, the Treasurer said he wanted to consult and make a decision another time.

The Government cannot get away with flagging or quietly promising changes after the election, it needs to come clean with the Australian people on whether there will be any changes at all, and what they might cost, now.