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Hansonyoung redfaced after trainwreck interview

FIRST it was Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. Now Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has redefined the term trainwreck interview.

Senator Hanson-Young claimed her party wanted to abolish the concessional tax treatment of superannuation, before being rescued by her chief-of-staff.

In an interview with the ABCs Adelaide breakfast show that made Ms Bishops superannuation stumble look sedate, Senator Hanson-Young appeared to have no idea about the Greens super policy at all.

Hanson-Young: Look were saying in order to make it fair you should be paying the same tax rate on income as you do for what youre earning on your super. Why not? Why shouldnt it be the same?

Presenter Matthew Abraham: You wouldnt have tax-free income flow from your super at all?

Hanson-Young: Well, we think it needs to be fair.

Later in the interview, Abraham asked Senator Hanson-Young to confirm she was suggesting the Greens wanted to get rid of concessional rates of tax for superannuation.

Why should there be? she replied.

After admitting her chief-of-staff had texted to help bail her out, Senator Hanson-Young attempted to clarify the partys position saying they did not favour double taxation, but believed neither the Coalition or Labors policy went far enough.

Hanson-Young: No, Ive had a text from my chief-of-staff sitting outside, sending me the table.

Abraham: Maybe we should get him in.

Hanson-Young: Its basically as I was saying, a progressive tax rate, but we are saying for those who would normally be taxed on the 33 cents for (incomes of) $37,000 to $100,000 its 15 cents worth of tax on your super and that would go up towards over $180,000 we are talking 30 to 32 cents in the dollar.

Labors Mark Butler, who was also part of the interview, described Senator Hanson-Youngs comments as just extraordinary.

He said he did not believed that what she was describing was really the Greens plan, claiming it would undo 30 years of retirement income policy.

Asked about how the Greens would tax contributions, Senator Hanson-Young paused for a long time before exclaiming, Sorry, what?

She later went on to say her earlier comments had been in relation to contributions, not earnings.

On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop bungled her explanation of the Coalitions planned changes to superannuation policy in an interview with 3AWs Neil Mitchell.

Mitchell: Are you aware of the transition to retirement scheme?

Bishop: Im certainly aware that we have one, yes.

Mitchell: How does it work?

Bishop: Well, Neil, this is obviously a gotcha moment. Its not my portfolio.

Mitchell: This is the point. Neither you or Josh Frydenberg understand Transition To Retirement and this is where youre hitting average people, not the fat cats, the average people.

Bishop: I dont accept thats the case.

Julie Bishop gets stumped on superannuation during an interview with Neil Mitchell on 3AW. Audio Courtesy: 3AW

Westpac anz investigate suspected chinese foreign home loan fraud

TWO of Australia’s major banks are investigating suspected fraud by home loan customers who rely on income from overseas.

ANZ Banking Group and Westpac Banking Corp are looking into allegations that foreign income documents, like pay slips and bank statements, have been doctored to secure mortgage loans.

According to Fairfax Media, some buyers from China which make up the bulk of foreign property investment have been implicated in a scam allegedly perpetrated with the help of mortgage brokers. The suspect loans are believed to total less than $1 billion.

We have identified issues with the income documentation of a small percentage of Australian resident borrowers who rely on foreign income, an ANZ spokesman said in an emailed statement.

Policy changes have been made to address this and we are also reviewing a number of brokers.

The alleged fraud was contained to a relatively small number of borrowers and did not pose a credit risk, the statement said.

Of the relatively small number of existing borrowers where we believe there are issues with income documentation, these are generally genuine owner-occupiers who have LVRs less than 80 per cent, and the loans are performing better the portfolio average, an ANZ spokesman said.

All our analysis to date indicates the issue is relatively small and there is no material credit risk issue involved.

Westpac spokesman David Lording told Fairfax Media the alleged scam had been uncovered by an internal investigation.

When fraudulent activity is discovered we take action against those involved, including the broker, which normally results in termination, Mr Lording said.

Our delinquency rate on foreign income loans is lower than the portfolio average, and a large proportion of these loans are ahead on repayments.

The investigation comes as the Turnbull Government gears up for an eight-week election campaign in which housing affordability is expected to play a central role.

ANZ, Westpac and Commonwealth Bank were forced to tighten mortgage lending to non-residents last month to allay regulatory concerns about lending standards and the impact of foreign investment on property prices.