During Question Time, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese deflected questions about superannuation changes by mocking Opposition Leader Peter Dutton’s “angry ranting” and asking for “Happy Peter” to return.
The opposition has continuously attacked Albanese’s plan to cut tax concessions for Australians with more than $3 million super funds. A poll has shown that two-thirds of voters support the changes, which would tax super contributions at 30 per cent for about 80,000 Australians instead of 15 per cent.
Mr Albanese barely began answering when Mr Dutton angrily interjected that he was not addressing the question.
The House of Representatives became a rowdy mess as Speaker Milton Dick tried to get the chamber under control. Mr Albanese insisted he was responding to the interjections, complaining it was “hard to respond when someone is just yelling nonstop from go to woe.”
Once he could continue, the PM sarcastically challenged Mr Dutton to sink NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet’s reelection chances by campaigning against the superannuation changes.
“We’re a government for all Australians. They are a government for one-half of one per cent of Australians. And I encourage them to go to the wall for that one half of one per cent,” he said, referring to the 80,000 richest Australians. Mr Albanese ended Question Time with another dig at Mr Dutton over the NSW election on March 25.
“It’s no wonder that the opposition leader has not appeared with the NSW premier since last October,” he said.
“There’s a forcefield around the NSW premier; he’s pleased to appear with me, as is the Tasmania Liberal premier, about getting constructive measures done.”
The PM took glee in pointing out that the last time Mr Dutton skipped a campaign launch was when Daniel Andrews easily beat the Victorian Liberals on November 26.
“I say this to the leader of the opposition, don’t miss out this Sunday. He missed out on the Victorian Liberal Party campaign, and look where that got them,” he said. “Don’t make the same mistake twice, get out there and back him. I’ll miss [the launch], but I encourage you to attend on Sunday, introduce Premier Perrottet, and I’m sure that will be a very successful.”
Mr Dutton’s earlier interjections began when Mr Albanese used the question from deputy Liberal leader Sussan Ley to spruik his government’s achievements. “The member would be aware that the super changes that we have announced do not take effect until 2025.
That is after – after the next election,” he said. “But I do thank the deputy leader for the opportunity to speak about our promises at the election and what we’ve delivered.”