Peter Costello has a good article in the AFR that worth a read. Here is a taste
It [simplified superannuation with a contribution cap] was implemented in 2007 with bipartisan support. Importantly, the revenue implications were thoroughly examined by industry, the opposition and signed off by Treasury – in writing and in oral submissions before parliamentary committees – as thoroughly sustainable. Nothing has changed.
But Labor unleashed a huge increase in spending on school halls and pink batts and the like. The budget is still in deficit and some are suggesting that superannuation tax concessions are now a problem. So let us be clear. Labor’s problem is not superannuation. It is spending.
It has already been whittling away the contribution rules. In 2009 it cut the concessional amount that a person could put into superannuation from $50,000 to $25,000. In 2010, as part of the [RSPT] it said it would “share the benefits of the mining boom” and reinstate the $50,000 concessional cap but only for over-50s – and from 1 July 2012.
In 2011 it said it would delay indexation of the cap until 2014. Then in 2012, it said the $50,000 cap would be delayed a further two years – until 1 July 2014.
The contribution limit has been cut, partially reinstated, reduced by inflation and now delayed. It has been changed every year for the last four years. And it yet to take effect.
There are still two more budgets and one election before the (current) mooted start date!
These announcements were not directed at improving the taxation of superannuation. They were desperate attempts to get more money into the 2012-13 financial year.
In 1996 I introduced a surcharge on superannuation for higher-income earners. It led to enormous complexity and compliance costs. So in 2005 I abolished it. Labor opposed its introduction. Then they opposed its abolition! Since then they have reintroduced it.