Queensland MP Bob Katter has joined a growing list of crossbench MPs to come out in opposition to the Morrison government’s controversial Your Future, Your Super bill.
In an interview with The New Daily, Mr Katter said he would vote against the legislation in its current form as two of its major components would have “disastrous” outcomes.
Mr Katter said the plan to staple Australians to the first super fund they joined as they progress through their careers would leave many members languishing in underperforming funds, as “the average person” did not keep a close eye on their superannuation accounts.
The Queensland MP also strongly rejected the directions power included in the bill that would give Treasurer Josh Frydenberg the ability to cancel any investment made by a superannuation fund if he deemed it contrary to the national interest.
“Josh is one of the greatest pro-free market men in the Parliament … and so it’s very ironic that he’s putting in the complete antithesis [to this],” Mr Katter told The New Daily.
Mr Katter said he “absolutely” agreed with former Liberal MP Craig Kelly that the measure contradicted Liberal Party values, warning members of the Liberal Party to imagine what a Labor treasurer would do with such powers were the Opposition to win a federal election.
“[The Treasurer] is putting all of [superannuation funds] in the hands of a politician,” he said.
“I mean, come on, Josh. Please. You might be a good guy, but you’re still a politician.”
Mr Katter’s comments suggest the Morrison government will have a difficult time passing the legislation through the lower house.
Mr Kelly’s defection to the cross bench in February means the Coalition has just 75 out of 151 seats in the House of Representatives after taking into account the speaker, Tony Smith, who must support the status quo.
That means the Morrison government needs the vote of at least one cross bench MP to pass the legislation. And many have already said they will vote against the bill in its current form.
In addition to Mr Katter and Mr Kelly, independent MPs Helen Haines and Zali Steggall also told TND they were strongly opposed to the directions power included in the legislation, described as an “investment kill switch” by industry lobbyists and Labor.
Independent Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie provided no comment on the bill while the office of Central Alliance MP Rebekha Sharkie, who represents Mayo in South Australia, said she was still working through a number of amendments and had “no firm position” on the legislation.
The New Daily is owned by Industry Super Holdings.