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Labor stuck in 70s on super: Morrison

AAP logoAAP 24/08/2016 Colin Brinsden, AAP Economics Correspondent

Treasurer Scott Morrison says Labor is stuck in a 1970s-type mindset when it comes to how people live and work and how it impacts their superannuation.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten told the National Press Club he phoned Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Wednesday offering the government an alternative plan to assist putting a $500,000 lifetime cap on non-concessional superannuation contributions.

Mr Turnbulll and Mr Morrison are facing opposition from the coalition backbench on the plan, with some even consider crossing the floor of parliament on the issue.

But Labor will also oppose three additional government super proposals which allow catch-up concessional superannuation contributions, harmonising contribution rules for those aged 65 to 74 and tax deductions for personal superannuation contributions.

It believes these concessions mostly benefit higher income earners.

Mr Morrison said the government made changes in the last budget to make it more flexible and sustainable and ensure tax incentives in superannuation went further, so people could support themselves in retirement rather than live off a pension.

"(Mr Shorten) wants to go back to the 70s where he thinks that everyone just gets a job at 18, they retire at 65 and nothing changes in between," Mr Morrison told reporters in Perth.

Mr Morrison continues to talk to his coalition colleagues over the government's planned changes, but says he won't compromise the budget as a result.

"It is not the government's plan to compromise the budget in how we deal with this issue ... it is our plan though to work through with colleagues, to see how things can be improved or better done, but not at the cost of the budget," Mr Morrison earlier told Perth's 6PR radio.

Mr Shorten says the government has got itself in a "dreadful hash" over its planned superannuation changes.

The opposition leader says rather than backdating the $500,000 cap to 2007, it should start from budget night while making up this revenue hit by changing the tax concessions on contributions.

Mr Shorten proposed the income threshold at which point the tax on a person's super contributions rises from 15 per cent to 30 per cent should fall from $250,000 to $200,000, generating an additional $238 million over four years.

"We will help fix up their retrospectivity and we have proposed sensible ways to make sure our superannuation tax concession scheme is sustainable," he said.

However, by not backdating it to 2007, it would allow rich people to invest a further $500,000 into their super, whatever they may have saved already.

One Nation, which has four senators in the upper house, has said it will not support the super changes while they remain retrospective.

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