It’s a new year, same Liberal Party, as the Prime Minister was today forced to rebuke Cabinet Minister Kelly O’Dwyer for endorsing the Future Fund as a government monopoly default fund.
Mr Morrison said in relation to this proposal being pushed by Minister O’Dwyer: “…I’m aware of that proposal, it’s not Government policy.”
This is a suggestion being pushed by Peter Costello and rejected as creating ‘fiscal risk’ by the Productivity Commission in its three year inquiry report into superannuation.
Part-time Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said last week that the Government would respond to the Productivity Commission after the release of the Banking Royal Commission final report. Fair enough.
But then today, Kelly O’Dwyer who is a Cabinet Minister with no responsibility for superannuation, decided to announce her support for the Future Fund default proposal telling the Australian Financial Review that a “very simple, low-fee government default fund option, via the Future Fund, makes sense for a compulsory system’’.
Is Ms O’Dwyer using the partial vacancy in the Treasury portfolio being created by Josh Frydenberg who is more focused on the Labor Party than the economy, wages or superannuation, to assert her claim on his job?
Ms O’Dwyer when she was the minister with responsibility had the single achievement of waging war on industry funds in the name of ideology.
Given the concerns around performance of retail funds that has been outed by both the Banking Royal Commission and the Productivity Commission, some Liberals are now taking their anti-industry fund crusade to bizarre lengths, now mounting the argument for a new government monopoly default fund.
The Productivity Commission did not recommend the Future Fund be adopted as a monopoly default fund and instead highlighted the risks with adopting such an approach.
It is the latest sign of government chaos and dysfunction that the only thing the Liberal Party is discussing out of the Productivity Commission’s superannuation report is something it firmly rejected.