Shadow Treasurer Angus Taylor and Shadow Finance Minister Jane Hume will on Monday unveil their alternative vision for management of the Australian economy and policies impacting the financial services industry.
Speaking at a Conexus Financial Political Series lunch in Melbourne, the two senior federal Coalition figures are expected to make the case against the Albanese government’s management of the budget, which Taylor described in May as a “cost of living con job”.
“After responding to two Budgets from the Albanese Labor Government, the Coalition’s economic team is ready to download on how they believe their Labor counterparts are performing,” said a spokesperson for the two shadow ministers’ offices.
“Shadow Treasurer Taylor and Shadow Finance Minister Hume have been critical of the $185 billion of additional expenditure in Labor’s Budget, given inflation is still far too high and remains sticky. Australians are in the midst of a cost of living crisis but the decisions taken by the government could very well be making the situation worse.”
The pair are also expected to criticise the government’s response to the Quality of Advice Review, which was commenced by the previous Coalition government in which they both served, acting on a recommendation of the Hayne royal commission. The review, chaired by Allens partner Michelle Levy, made 22 recommendations to boost access to affordable financial advice, including making it easier for superannuation funds to provide more advice to members about their retirement.
The government has accepted 14 of the recommendations, with legislation expected early next year. But the opposition has urged the government to accept the reform package as a whole and move more quickly to implement it.
“Mr Taylor and Senator Hume will discuss the Coalition’s response to the Quality of Advice review and the role an innovative financial services industry can play in responding to Australia’s productivity challenge,” the spokesperson said.
In an exclusive interview, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese last week told Investment Magazine that the role played by super funds was “critical” amid an ageing population, including providing advice services to people. He said the importance of financial services was underscored by the Intergenerational Report, which found super help reduce in the cost of the age pension from 2.3 per cent to 2 per cent of GDP over the next four decades. It also showed super tax concessions would outstrip the spend on the age pension in the 2040s.
The government will introduce draft legislation within months to legislate a purpose for the super system. Its proposed wording, subject to consultation, is: “to preserve savings to deliver income for a dignified retirement, alongside government support, in an equitable and sustainable way”.
The prime minister said the purpose was consistent with its encouragement of super funds to invest in “big national priorities” like the energy transition and affordable housing. “What we need, which is capital being allowed to play a role in those long-term investments, suits retirement incomes by definition, by providing that certainty going forward,” Albanese said.
But senior Coalition MPs have previously criticised the government’s approach as enabling “woke capital”, echoing arguments made by high-profile Republican critics of asset owners and asset managers in the US.