Former High Court justice Sir Anthony Mason has publicly called on Treasury to provide the “true cost” of superannuation concessions on government revenue.
Addressing the annual conference of the SMSF Assocation (SMSFA) in Melbourne yesterday, the SMSFA patron questioned whether the assumptions underlying Treasury’s position on super tax concessions are reliable.
“There has been much talk of the burden that superannuation tax concessions cost the revenue,” Sir Anthony said.
“Much of that talk arises from estimates made by the Federal Treasury. There is reason to think that the Treasury estimates are inflated or, at least, are based on unreal behavioural assumptions.”
The patron pointed out that SMSFA calls for Treasury to provide information on the “behavioural assumptions” underlying its estimates have fallen on deaf ears, with the department “declining to do so”.
At the same time he praised the overall superannuation system – and the role of the self-managed sector within it – arguing Australians have good reason to be confident and proud.
“Self-managed super funds have been a centrepiece of the Australian superannuation success story,” he said. “What is more, SMSFS are [a] distinctly Australian innovation in which we can take great pride.”
Sir Anthony called for greater professional standards for those advising trustees, backing SMSFA’s submission to a parliamentary committee inquiry proposing mandatory education standards for financial planners.
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