Australians should still be encouraged to contribute more towards their super: Ken Raiss

Should Tony Abbott’s party come to power in September then it needs to begin day one with an extensive review of the national ledger and a clear position on how it will encourage Australians to prepare for their future.

The country right now is no different to a household or business in financial difficulty.

A freshly elected government in September must set about clearly understanding Australia’s ‘baseline’ position to ensure that fiscal strategies are not ill-addressed or threaten the safety-net for the most vulnerable.

I'm supportive of the opposition’s renewed commitment to scrapping both the mineral and carbon taxes.

Doing so will help reduce pressure on household family budgets, improve business confidence and therefore improve employment prospects and ensure Australia’s competitive advantage in its export deliverable.

Whilst delaying an increase in compulsory super contributions by two years is unfortunate, this is a ‘soft option’ to give Australian business some reprieve.

Australians should still be encouraged to contribute more towards their super.  

Because the compulsory super option may be shelved for now, wages as a result may grow quicker over the next 24 months and with this the opportunity for Australians to consider other options for contributing more towards their super, which the future government must support.

In considering the current government’s initiative to encourage senior Australians to downsize their homes, I support this concession in principle but believe that the rules governing the initiative (notably the 25 year home ownership and 10 year tax concession cap) should be more streamlined and would benefit from using the same guidelines of existing main residence exemption rules.  

People are living longer and the tax rules and benefits need to reflect the growing uncertainty that comes with old age and need for greater flexibility.

Ken Raiss is a certified accountant and director of Chan & Naylor national accounting firm. Chan & Naylor offers a free five-minute question-and-answer session on its website under the "Ask the Experts" section.

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