Angus Taylor (left) and Meg Heffron. Photo: Joel Roosa.

The federal opposition has brought its war on aspiration line into the wealth sector to attack the government’s reduction of tax concessions on super balances over $3 million, even as new research suggests the impact will be minimal.

Speaking at the SMSF National Conference on Thursday morning in Brisbane, shadow Treasurer Angus Taylor used his address to reiterate the Coalition’s opposition to Labor’s tax reforms in the wealth sector.

“It’s incredibly important to keep in mind what the sector embodies, what it stands for,” Taylor said.

“Aspiration and the desire to pay one’s own way. Reward for effort and a willingness to back yourself. Independence, self-relance and personal responsibility.”

The Coalition also argued Labor’s changes to the Stage 3 tax cuts, under which lower- and middle-income earners gained benefits over higher salary earners, were an attack on aspiration.

The government announced last year it would aim to reduce the concession tax rate for super balances over $3 million. Currently the flat tax rate is 15 per cent, but the government proposed taxing funds over the $3 million threshold at the level of 30 per cent.

“I don’t want to be overly political but right now it’s pretty hard to be apolitical about what we’re seeing,” Taylor said on the proposed super tax changes.

“At the election in 2022 the now-government claimed they want to end the superannuation wars. A year ago to the day we had the government reignite those wars and only in the last few months have we begun to see what that really looks like. The new tax is a shocker. A doubling of taxation of Australian retirement savings.”

Taylor said given Australians can’t opt out of the superannuation system, the trade-off must be choice.

“Choice about whether you use an industry fund or establish your own fund,” Taylor said.

[Choice] about the risk profile of your investment mix or whether you use your savings for a first home or in equities.”

Beyond the doom and gloom

In a session hosted by Heffron managing director Meg Heffron, aptly titled ‘$3m super tax – Beyond the doom and gloom’, the SMSF expert said it will take extreme circumstances to reach the threshold.

With few super balances for older Australians over seven figures, younger Australians were expected to be impacted by the reform which won’t be indexed.