Govt sits on super ruling that will cost business millions

Feds won't be drawn on demands to block a super ruling that will cost employers tens of millions of dollars

Govt sits on super ruling that will cost business millions
Govt sits on super ruling that will cost business millions
By Jason Whittaker and Samantha Freestone

The Federal Government is refusing to be drawn on demands from road transporters to block a superannuation ruling the industry says will cost employers tens of millions of dollars.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is considering extending compulsory super payments to overtime hours and parental leave, a move business says it can’t afford.

The Coalition says Labor would overturn the decision if it was serious about helping business.

Shadow Minister Steven Ciobo also told ATN earlier this week that Labor had forced the ATO to delay the ruling until after next Tuesday’s federal Budget.

But the Government refuses to be drawn into the debate, with Superannuation Minister Nick Sherry’s office saying only "the ATO is an independent agency".

"A decision on the matter is pending," a spokesperson tells ATN.

"Industry has made representations to the Minister and the Minister has actively engaged in consultation on the issue with the ATO and Treasury."

Paul Ryan from the Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation (ARTIO) says he remains confident the Government will quash the ruling.

"I am optimistic the final ruling will be positive for the transport industry," he says.

ARTIO has held a number of meetings with the Government since the ATO released a draft ruling arguing for the change, concerned about the cost impact on transport operators. Research points to wage cost hikes of around 5-6 percent under the changes.

"If it is passed it could cost the transport industry tens of millions of dollars," Ryan says.

The ATO says the delay in releasing the ruling is a "process issue". An announcement is expected next Wednesday.

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