Super hike coming, with Labor blamed for impost

<font color=red><b>EXCLUSIVE:</b></font> Concerns Tax Office ruling that would slug business for super contributions on overtime is coming

Super hike coming, with Labor blamed for impost
Super hike coming, with Labor blamed for impost
By Jason Whittaker

EXCLUSIVE: There are new concerns a Tax Office ruling that would slug business for superannuation contributions on overtime pay could be enacted, with the Opposition claiming political interference from the Labor Government.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) was to release its final ruling on superannuation today, but a spokesperson now says this has been delayed until next week.

Shadow Minister Steven Ciobo claims the Government has delayed the announcement until after Tuesday’s federal Budget to bury news on a decision business groups have called disastrous.

A draft ruling from the ATO recommended the superannuation levy should be placed on overtime and paid parental leave, potentially sending the cost of super contributions for business skyward.

While industry groups have expressed confidence the final decision will reject the recommendations, Ciobo says the ATO has told his office there has been no change to its position.

Speaking to ATN, the Opposition’s spokesperson for small business and independent contractors says any move to extend superannuation entitlements will cost jobs.

"This draft ruling potentially represents a massive impost on small business at the very worst possible time," he says.

"If this draft ruling becomes an actual ruling it will certainly cost jobs. It will increase business overheads when they’re already under pressure."

Ciobo says the ATO ruling is "entirely a decision of the Labor Government" and it has the power to block the move.

"It’s important the Government leads on this," he says.

The post-Budget announcement is designed to "slide under the radar", Ciobo claims.

A spokesperson for the ATO confirms the decision will now be handed down "within about a week".

They say "process issues" in delivering the ruling are behind the delay, but they wouldn’t be drawn on the timing of the announcement or whether there has been a shift from the draft ruling.

ATN has sought comment from Superannuation and Corporate Law Minister Nick Sherry.

Paul Ryan from the Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation (ARTIO) told QBR last week he was "optimistic" the draft ruling would be rejected.

"I can’t say either way [but based on] a couple of conversations we have had gives me the feeling that it might revert back to [the original interpretation]," he said.

"We think their reasoning was flawed."

Transport groups say the decision will hike wage costs by around 5 to 6 percent.

Industry leaders also say employers should not be contributing more to super funds given the downturn in super investment returns.

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