Labor MP Andrew Leigh has accused the Coalition of using the standing committee on economics to weaken superannuation in what Liberal MP Tim Wilson called a “hysterical rant”.
Mr Leigh said the schedule for the committee was set entirely by the Liberal Party and that Labor would have preferred to hear from the super funds that were called before the royal commission.
“This request was ignored by the Coalition, which is using this committee to wage an ideological war against superannuation,” Mr Leigh said.
“Over recent months, the chair has snowed industry superannuation funds with vast amounts of questions…and today’s schedule reflects the ideological predispositions of the Coalition. That’s very clear from the fact that this committee has not called retail funds that were the subject of serious investigation by the royal commission.”
Mr Leigh said that the Coalition was using the committee to weaken superannuation and bolster its efforts to freeze the SG increase. Standing committee chair Mr Wilson has been a vocal critic of industry funds but denied Mr Leigh’s remarks, calling them a “hysterical rant” and accusing him of misleading the committee.
“The questions that have been submitted on this committee have been submitted to retail and industry super funds,” Mr Wilson said.
“I’m sorry, but you’ve misled the committee, deputy chair. In addition to that, we also have called other funds that have not appeared today but which are appearing in future hearings…your hysterical rant is not accurate.”
Mr Leigh also noted that ISPT had not been called before the royal commission and questioned why the committee had set aside an hour to question its executives when AMP – which copped a hiding in the royal commission – received only 40 minutes. His remarks were supported by fellow Labor MP Daniel Mulino, but Mr Wilson pointed out that AMP had already appeared before the committee on several previous occasions.