February 28th 2004

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Don't torch the sugar industry!

CANBERRA OBSERVED: New tactics needed to handle Latham challenge

TRADE: Where does new free trade pact leave us?

NCC holds successful 2004 National Conference

DRUGS: Sweden turns off teenage drug tap

STRAWS IN THE WIND : Alabama's got the bomb / Swords into ploughshares / Closed minds

Free trade and sugar (letter)

Rethink US-Australia FTA (letter)

A Cuban's view of Fidel Castro (letter)

Political correctness in schools (letter)

Superannuation a tax on families (letter)

FAMILY: Marriage under attack

TAIWAN: Cliffhanger election will affect China relations

MEDIA: Confronting sloppy journalism

HISTORY: The continuing legacy of the 1960s

COMMENT: Getting history wrong - Ross Fitzgerald's 'The Pope's Battalions'

BOOKS: The Electronic Whorehouse, by Paul Sheehan

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Superannuation a tax on families (letter)

by Trevor Dawes

News Weekly, February 28, 2004

Your editorial regarding superannuation, although no doubt good for this country, ignores the Australian way of a fair go.

Families are required to pay superannuation because a significant percent of the population decides to have either no children or one child. This is below the population replacement level of 2.2 children per couple.

So families are hit by a double whammy: the very high cost of raising children and paying super which is a subsidy for those who don't have any children.

It said that the main beneficiaries of superannuation are people on high salaries who use it as a tax dodge, only paying 15% tax and with unfranked dividends, no tax at all.

It is more than likely the only people to be able to stash the cash away in super is people with no children.

The longer one contributes to super the more effective those savings will be due to compounding interest. Families have little hope of building a reasonably sized account for many years

The amount in a super fund has to be quite significant for ordinary families if they are to benefit from the low 15% tax rate, which is lower than their average tax rate.

If a central body was to act like the Singapore Provident Fund, as a repository for super funds, and then invested in Australia, the supervision of companies on the Australian Stock Exchange would need to be significantly tightened up.

Self-managed funds are growing in size at a rapid rate. This should be carried through to all people. And for good reason: they are portable and give people control over their investment (no Enrons). The disadvantage is the high regulatory costs

The current superannuation is a tax on families and needs to be addressed

Trevor Dawes,
North Haven, SA

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