Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown today supported calls from the ACTU and ACOSS for changes to the $30 billion worth of superannuation tax concessions that favour top earners before the Gillard Government’s mining tax package is debated in the Senate.
“The Government has linked the mining tax to a rise in the superannuation guarantee to 12% from 9%. We are supportive of the rise but believe significant changes need to be made to taxation arrangements to make the system fairer and more equitable,” Senator Brown said.
“Of the tax breaks on superannuation contributions almost half of the concessions go to the top 12% of earners. The Government can do better,” Senator Brown said.
“The current clumsy arrangements do nothing to narrow the gap between rich and poor. If you are on the top marginal tax rate of 45% your tax break on super is up to 30%. If your earnings are taxed at the lowest marginal tax rate of 15% then your concession is zero. If you do not pay income tax, you still pay 15% on any superannuation contribution.
"While the Government is proposing additional benefits to low-income earners at a cost of $830m in 2013-14, the Greens believe that this cost should be met by reforming the superannuation tax concession regime so the wealthiest amongst us no longer receive a disproportionate benefit."
“Before the legislation is debated in the Senate we need a formal review of the superannuation tax concessions. This is something the Greens are pursuing with the Government.”