Stop turning super into election battleground: BCA

Labor and the coalition have been warned by business leaders to stop putting superannuation at the forefront of their election campaigns, on the basis that such moves undermine business confidence and consumer sentiment, according to The Australian.

The board of the Business Council of Australia (BCA) said that talk of cutting superannuation tax breaks for top earners is damaging the super system and its ability to help address the pressing issue of how to absorb the costs associated with an aging population.

"Philosophically, I object to the term 'concessions',” BCA president Tony Shepherd said, according to The Australian.

"The money is ours. We go to work, we get paid. The money is ours. It's up to government to justify how much they take from us. It's not theirs, it's our money. It's not a concession, it's our money.”

Meanwhile, Wesfarmers Ltd chief executive Richard Goyder said politicians should not consider changing the system, which until now has encouraged income earners to put more into their super. He said that taxing withdrawals from super accounts will punish those who have saved for their retirement based on the structure of the existing super scheme.

"Why should [income earners] be penalised for doing that?” Mr Goyder said, according to The Australian.

Talk of changes to the way super is taxed – Labor has reportedly focused on measures that would increase the amount of tax revenues the government earns from super – also prompted the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia to warn that decreasing incentives for individuals to put super at the forefront of their retirement planning risks creating bubbles in other sectors if investors turn to, for instance, property investments.

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