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John Passant

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December 2016



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Super dodgy employers: The Commissioner of Taxation should resign

Pressure: Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen


The Canberra Times published this letter of mine in their Wednesday edition.

Super dodgy employers

Employers are stealing about $3.6 bn a year of superannuation contributions from 2.4 million workers (about 30 percent of the workforce). (Anna Patty, ‘Employers are underpaying 2.4 m workers superannuation: report’ The Canberra Times 5 December).

The failure of the Australian Tax Office to police employer superannuation contributions is a failure of senior ATO management. In the last few years the Commissioner of Taxation has sacked thousands of workers and cut the ATO’s workforce by over 15%. More is to come.

These cuts have further weakened the capacity of the ATO not only to catch big business and billionaire tax avoiders and evaders but also to ensure that 2.4 million workers (and ultimately all taxpayers) were not ripped off.

As a former Assistant Commissioner of Taxation it seems clear to me that the current Commissioner of Taxation has failed in his duty to protect ordinary workers.

I call on him, and the gaggle of executives he has gathered around him who are currently destroying the ATO, to resign immediately.

John Passant



Comment from Kay
Time December 8, 2016 at 6:47 am

Well, the biggest defaulters on employer super payments would be governments – both federal and all states except Queensland. None of these, apart from Qld, have actually put aside the money to pay for future retirements. All those on defined benefit pensions have received their pension payments directly from the taxpayer – not sure to what extent the Future Fund is now picking up that tab, but either way it is taxpayer funds.

The Qld government has always fully funded its pensions, both DB and accumulation. Hence our Labor Treasurer’s latest raid on the low-hanging fruit of QIC’s huge DB super fund. Accumulation funds are in the name of individual workers so are not subject to government ‘raids’ on capital.

With the move of all public services towards accumulation schemes (away from unfunded DB schemes) are these funds actually fully funded? Do you know, John? In Qld, all pension funds have always been fully funded, but I have no idea how other states and the feds now operate. Do they actually pay CR employer contributions into individual super accumulation accounts or is it only a ‘notional’ payment?

Comment from John
Time December 8, 2016 at 7:57 pm

They don’t default – they pay out of general revenue plus the future fund, from memory. Defined Benefit Funds are the best funds for workers. They shift investment risk to the employer, not the employee. I don’t know how the psot CSS schemes work other than that they moved away from the DBF model, presumably some way or all the way to accumulation funds.

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