I attended the Federal Government’s Tax Forum in the last two days which was quite worthwhile.
I was supposed to have two goes at the ‘inner circle’ where you got to talk, but one of these two goes was subject to Julia Gillard not wanting a go. Turned out – on the question of personal tax she did want a go, so I didn’t get to take her seat – she did. Anyway the people in the inner circle were the ones engaged by the facilitators but as a consolation prize they threw to me on super.
I said that we should both walk and chew gum and that as a consequence as we were increasing the amont of compulsory super we should also allow people as they first began saving in their 20s and 30s to access their super to meeting their very first major investment need – a deposit on their house.
I also said that this would be a lot better than the Mickey Mouse scheme for a housing deposit the government had set up. And that further, since we were looking for savings, when one did this it would be a good time go get rid of the First Home Owners’ Scheme. Anyway, it was all I said. Shortly afterward I was rung by James Massola who said he wanted to write it up. He asked if I helped put together the super scheme back in the old days. I told him I was in the Treasurer’s Office when it was happening so if he wanted to say something regarding that, he could say that, but not that I was otherwise involved.
Anyway, entertainment is a higher priority than anything else so James story came out with the customary up beat reporting and in the bold print introducing the story . . . well I ended up being “a Keating-era economics adviser who helped devise Australia’s super plan”. Being a generally quite nice person and the furthest thing from a conspiracy theorist short of someone with a lobotomy, I suspect a stuff up – well not exactly a stuff up a slip-shod piece of subbing.
The text that got it wrong was the introductory bolded text. I’m guessing that the subbie either extracted it or wrote it cold from the article. And who cares if it slightly changes – ie makes up – a fact? This is a small price to pay for a bit more egging of the pud.
Then it got a little more egg in Adelaide Now. “GENERATION Y should be allowed to use their superannuation savings as a deposit for a house, according to the man who helped devise Australia’s current super scheme.
Anyway, for the record, I didn’t help devise Australia’s current super scheme.