Today veteran Labor MP Simon Crean helped facilitate a spill of the Labor leadership once yet again. Without the numbers, and with Rudd refusing to contest the spill, Gillard was re-elected unopposed. But Crean has raised issues that are crucial for the Party as the May Budget approaches. Unfortunately, the author, Tristan Ewins, finds he cannot agree with Crean when it comes to reform of superannuation concessions and other fiscal reforms which might well be necessary to pay for NDIS and Gonski.
(initiatives that will ultimately cost over $20 billion a year in the context of a $1.4 Trillion economy)
(nb: Also I have corrected a rather large typo as well!!!; So apologies to anyone who may have been shocked by the apparent argument I supported infrastructure privatisation! Rest assured that is NOT the case! I did not catch the typo until after I rushed to publish with the events unfolding rapidly around us...)
Admittedly it is true that a fear campaign has already begun on the theme of superannuation concessions. The upper middle class is concerned their retirement lifestyle may be threatened; and while many struggle to make do on the Aged Pension alone, the upper middle class see an annual retirement income of over $50,000/year as a ‘right.’ A recent segment in the 7:30 Report presented the matter in a most unbalanced fashion.
And over-targeting of welfare has the potential to narrow the demographic support base of the welfare state over time. More broadly, there needs to be a balance between means testing of welfare, and the principle of universalism - for instance as embodied in Medicare.