We’re joined by Social Services Minister Scott Morrison in Canberra. Scott Morrison thanks very much for joining us. Minister, how do you console more than 320,000 pensioners who will be worse off after this?
MINISTER MORRISON: Let me add, that there are 170,000 pensioners who are on very low level of assets and they will be getting an increase in their pension of some $30 a fortnight. That is what the pension is for; the pension is for people who really need it. It’s a welfare payment; it’s a safety net payment. To ensure that it’s sustainable and fair then we need to make sure that is where the focus is. For those on high levels of assets, they will be able to draw on those assets because that’s what they saved, to accumulate them for. That’s why there are tax incentives for superannuation so people can draw on those savings. What we will not be doing is we will not be taxing those savings, that’s the Labor party’s policy. We are pleased that the Greens have seen the common sense and good policy of this initiative. Bill Shorten, all about politics once again, when he has to choose between politics and good policy, it is always politics trying to create chaos. The governments ‘have a go’ Budget is very much on the go.
Ok, there are strings attached with this though with you agreeing to look at retirement incomes. Does that mean you are willing to consider changes to tax arrangements for superannuation?
MINISTER MORRISON: No, the government has made it very clear that we will not be putting increased taxes on people’s superannuation. Certainly, in this term and we have no plans to do it beyond that. That was a very clear understanding between us and the Greens. We have agreed to have a process through the tax white paper for people to make submissions and stakeholders to be engaged on those issues but the Government’s position on superannuation is crystal clear we won’t be taxing your super, that’s Bill Shorten’s policy.
Ok, any more deals with the Greens in the future?
MINISTER MORRISON: There are other issues the Government is talking to The Greens about, as well as the Crossbench. There are other matters to be pursued in relation to the Budget and we will continue in that good faith process. I think what we have had here is the Greens and the crossbenchers, Senators Xenophon, Leyonhjelm, Day, who have been very pragmatic and professional, engaging with the Government on good policy, Bill Shorten is a wrecker. I think that’s why he is in political free fall.
Scott Morrison, thank you for your time.
MINISTER MORRISON: Thanks very much.