Hockey says 12% super unaffordable

By a staff reporter

Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey has named Labor's increase in compulsory superannuation contributions as one policy that could be cut under a coalition government.

Pointing to lower-than-expected revenue from the government's mining resource rent tax (MRRT), Mr Hockey said spending linked to it, including the superannuation contribution increase, was no longer affordable.

"The mining tax will not to raise $956 million this year, to pay for all the things the prime minister has been talking about in parliament this week," he said.

"The superannuation contribution caps, increasing the superannuation guarantee from nine per cent to 12 per cent, phasing down interest withholding tax on financial institutions, expanding the definition of exploration to include geothermal energy, supplementary income support for low income earners."

"The government is committing expenditure and we cannot pay for it any more."

Responding to a follow-up question about which policies the coalition would cut, Mr Hockey pointed to the list of programs he had just named.

Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation Bill Shorten said Mr Hockey's comments were detrimental to taxpayers.

"This is a body blow to millions of hard working Australians saving for their retirement," Mr Shorten said.

Mr Shorten added the comments come after the coalition last week "admitted they would reimpose a 15 per cent superannuation tax slug on 3.6 million workers earning up to $37,000".

The government has said it will increase compulsory superannuation payments to 12 per cent by 2020. The current level is nine per cent.

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