Industry Super Australia (ISA) chief Bernie Dean has accused standing committee chair Tim Wilson of abusing his power in an extraordinary letter to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
Bernie Dean questioned the motivations behind recent questions put to super funds by Tim Wilson, saying they appeared to “abuse the committee process and risk undermining confidence in its ongoing work”.
“As you would be aware, Mr Wilson is actively campaigning on the issue of using super for a house deposit. He also publicly opposes investments by super funds in affordable housing among other assets,” Mr Dean wrote in a letter to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, seen by InvestorDaily.
“The questions appear designed to leverage funds’ openness to engage with the committee under the original terms of reference but are clearly intended for personal use by Mr Wilson in support of his ongoing political campaigns.”
Mr Wilson’s “Home First Super Second” campaign has earned him the enmity of the industry despite minister for superannuation Jane Hume pouring cold water on the idea. ISA has called the proposition “fundamentally flawed” and warned that it would only “jack up prices, inflate young people’s mortgages and add billions to the aged pension”.
“The chair has also used information derived from this Parliamentary Committee on a political website established to support his pet personal political campaign, where the website seeks to harvest personal data that is collected,” Mr Dean wrote.
“We would ask you to consider the appropriateness of the committee being used in this way to further a personal political campaign, particularly as funds and other participants willingly engage with the Inquiry often at considerable expense and opportunity cost.”
Mr Wilson hit back at ISA and Mr Dean on Twitter, writing that the accusations were “baseless”.
“Dear @IndustrySuper, what question asked about how you spend Australian’s compulsory super savings is inappropriate? The ones about how you can use Aussie’s money to buy homes that you own? Or the impact of renting in retirement? Or are these questions inappropriate too?” Mr Wilson wrote.
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