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Wayne Swan lashes out at Sunrise host in defence of Treasurer’s new superannuation tax move

Extraordinary moment Labor chief SLAMS Sunrise slams David Koch and the media for ‘hyper stupidity’ and ‘disgraceful’ behavior over Jim Chalmers’ trainwreck tax interview

  • Wayne Swan defends treasurer after interview with Sunrise
  • Chalmers allegedly a victim of ‘media hyperstupidity’

Former federal treasurer Wayne Swan slammed Sunrise presenter Jim Chalmers in an impassioned defense of Labor’s Jim Chalmers during an interview with a rival network.

Mr Swan, the current Labor president, appeared on the Today Show on Friday morning to hit back at critics of the government’s decision to double tax super-income for assets over $3m.

Mr Swan said the government’s estimate would affect around 80,000 people, but claimed they were doing ‘what every treasury has done before’.

“Well, I think it’s a modest proposal. It’s turned into the end of the world in the kind of stories that exist today,” he told Today.

“Any other treasurer before him would have treated the announcements the same way he did.

“The difference here is media hyper-stupidity and some stories that have pushed it to the point where it’s not even recognizable as the original proposal.”

Wayne Swan (pictured right) appeared on the Today Show Friday morning to defend the treasurer, saying there is “hyper stupidity in the media” and that the coverage of Sunrise was “disgraceful”

Mr Swan lashed out at Koch after cornering the treasurer over whether he planned to introduce a tax on the family home in a trainwreck interview on Wednesday morning.

That appearance resulted in a slap from the prime minister and a mea culpa a few hours later.

“Some of the coverage we’ve seen, particularly on one of your rival channels…that performance was disgraceful,” the former treasurer said.

Mr. Swan was Dr. Chalmers’ boss for a long time and worked alongside him during the global financial crisis.

He was not the only Labor man sent out to defend the treasurer on Friday morning.

Current Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles also lined up on the Today show to spout the government’s plan.

Things quickly turned curl for Mr Marles as host Karl Stefanovic gave him three chances to explain whether Labor was after unrealized capital gains.

“How are you going to tax the increased paper value of an asset that hasn’t been sold?” joked the Nine host.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers (pictured right) was cornered Wednesday by Sunrise host David Koch (pictured left) over the government's move to double-tax income in superfunds over $3 million

Treasurer Jim Chalmers (pictured right) was cornered Wednesday by Sunrise host David Koch (pictured left) over the government’s move to double-tax income in superfunds over $3 million

“This is about the issue of revenue, in superfunds over $3 million and the way it’s fed in,” Mr. Marles began, seemingly unable to remember the answer.

Mr Marles’ reply did not satisfy Stefanovic and the minister’s regular interlocutor, opposition leader Peter Dutton.

“You are the Deputy Prime Minister. You are on the Expenditure Review Committee. You agreed to this insane plan,’ the opposition leader insisted.

“If you don’t understand the details, how on earth can the Australian public understand what you’re proposing?

“It’s a fundamental question.”

Mr Marles said he understood the details and clarified that a process would be put in place to review pension income.

‘There will be a review of super funds and their merits. So tax is levied on that income. And that’s what will happen,” he said.

“What you’re talking about now is going to people who are in self-managed superfunds and there’s going to be a process of doing that review on an ongoing basis.

“But again, this doesn’t apply unless you have $3 million in your super.”

Australia’s Treasury Department revealed on Tuesday that it would include “all notional gains and losses” in its calculation of earnings under the pension tax crackdown.

The earnings would be calculated as the annual difference in the value of the fund at the end of each fiscal year and largely relate to people with self-managed super funds.