When the Turnbull government presented the 2016 budget, the plans for this unnecessary double dissolution, and the new electoral rules were already in place.
The actual date of the budget had been changed to allow the schedule for this very long election campaign.
While Labor in the Senate negotiated a truncated estimates process to allow some scrutiny of the range of budget items, much of the detail of the proposals have been not publicly considered, and some continue to trickle out as the campaign continues.
The many questions around the superannuation changes bedevil a range of government ministers.
Mathias Cormann has acknowledged that LNP members have raised their concerns about the impact of the changes with him, but that after he has talked them though the policy, they now understand.
That level of understanding does not seem to have reassured the Cabinet Secretary, Arthur Sinodinos:
“ARTHUR SINODINOS, CABINET SECRETARY: Well the superannuation changes were part of the Budget, so they were presented to the party room before the Budget was handed down in the Parliament. The next process will be that if we win the election then there will be consultation on various changes and then legislation presented to the party room.
SPEERS: So they could change?
SINODINOS: Look, I’m not going to speculate on that.”
So, we get the budget, then the election (including the promises), then the details AND then consultation!!
As more figures are released, it seems that more and more people are fearful about the impact of the changes, and Scott Morrison’s confident claims that only 4% of the wealthiest Australians will be affected by the changes, which are definitely NOT retrospective, are causing considerable angst.
They are retrospective and estimates of those possibly affected by the Turnbull/Morrison measures is way in excess of “4%”, it could be 500,000 superannuates or even as many as 1.2 million.
Labor’s Shadow Ministers Jim Chalmers and Andrew Leigh have been highlighting the confusion and the lack of detail the government has provided.
It is too easy to make claims and to promise that there will be consultation after the election… just to get the government over the line and then after 2 July make as many changes as you like.
Three years ago the LNP made many promises which had a use by date of 6 pm election night.
This is no way to run a budget measure, an election promise or run the country.
Claire Moore, Labor Senator for Queensland