Frankly annoying

Friday, May 17th, 2019

In this View, I am taking the liberty of expressing my personal frustration at the current franking debate. In particular, I am expressing my frustration with the prosecution by the ALP of its proposed policy to abruptly change taxation rules that have existed for decades regarding franking credits.

Whilst there is no doubt that important national policies must be dynamically managed, it is my view that this should occur inside an agreed and stable national policy framework. Over the last 120 years what is important to Australian society has become the responsibility of our government, our parliament and under their direction our bureaucracy and public service.

Therefore economic, social, healthcare, aged care and education, environmental, taxation, foreign policy, trade policy, defence and retirement policy (amongst others) is managed by government. In effect, they are our custodians for policy management and they should take policy forward so that each change is indisputably for the better.

Retirement policy by its nature must have a long term policy setting. Young workers today will participate in retirement policy for the next 50 to 80 years – from accumulation to pension. Recent retirees will be governed by policy for the next 30 to 40 years – managing a finite capital base to meet their needs. A Commonwealth pension safety net must endure.

All significant national policies should be managed by government with sensible, logical and fair adjustments made for changing circumstances or when a better understanding of the facts occurs. Any change should ensure that the aims of national policy are achieved. That is what the Government, answerable to Parliament and to the people, is elected to do. That is the basis of our democracy.

Consequently, there is a legitimate expectation that changes to policies inside an agreed framework are consistent, properly developed and agreed. National policy and significant changes to it should only be done after thorough investigation and research by or at the direction of Parliament. There is also the legitimate expectation that Australia’s most significant policy settings, that will endure for decades (particularly pension policy) will be set from a sensible bi-partisan approach.

This leads to my growing frustration with politicians of all persuasions and which I feel is a frustration that I share with many other Australians. Simply stated I perceive that there is a clear lack of sensible bipartisan agreement on the policies that are right for Australia.

The political debate is rarely supported by factual arguments and is arguably commonly undertaken with bias, a lack of integrity, transparency and/or honesty.

In particular disclosures of conflicts of interest by politicians are rarely if ever made before or when a politician argues their case. I wonder whether politicians themselves can honestly state they are abiding by the principles which the Hayne Royal Commission set for the financial services industry:

  • Obey the law
  • Do not mislead or deceive
  • Act fairly
  • Provide services that are fit for purpose
  • Deliver services with reasonable care and skill
  • When acting for another, act in the best interests of that other

Politicians and political parties constantly and seemingly on a whim change their positions on significant national issues. They, therefore, create distrust amongst the electorate and undermine the democratic system. The result is clear to see – directionless governance and a parliamentary quagmire with many members voted in by default – mainly in the Senate to create a hung parliament.

What is best for Australia should in most cases be obvious. When it is not obvious or subject to conjecture, it needs to be thoroughly investigated and researched by experts, from both commercial and academic backgrounds. The most intelligent, and hopefully the most ethical of our society, should be asked to develop the solutions that become the framework of our most significant national policies. The parliament should review and generally adopt the recommendations. National policy direction and its requirements should then been properly codified by parliament into clear law so there is no misunderstanding.

There are clear long term benefits for a country, for a society and for an economy, that adopts an agreed national policy framework or an agreed strategic and significant policy direction. This seems a fundamental requirement for Australia where society expects our government and parliament to manage fairly for all – including future generations. Citizens will readily support rules that are consistent with the agreed national plan – more so if it is properly created, recommended to and adopted by parliament and then clearly communicated.

That long introduction brings me to my annoyance with the ALP franking policy.

I simply ask this – How can the ALP honestly and ethically develop or change the franking rules, that operate inside Australia’s retirement policy, without drawing upon a proper enquiry or investigation (ethical and intelligent) that supports it?

I find it particularly disturbing that Australia does not have a clearly enunciated national retirement policy by which success or failure can be measured. By not having such a policy then there is no basis to access proposed changes.

The proposed ALP franking changes, simply do not conform to the agreed national retirement policy of Australia because there isn’t one!

Australia’s superannuation system was created (theoretically at the time) to reduce the burden of a growing number of retirees/pensioners, on the Commonwealth pension scheme. The “safety net” of public pensions is funded through the taxation of the income of workers and companies and the returns on capital of investors. Since the creation of the contributory accounts based superannuation system by the Labor Government of the 1980s, Australia expanded its taxation base (via a GST) to deal with expected budgetary shortfalls. To this end the Howard Government created a convoluted and State-sanctioned GST, replacing state-based sales taxes, that today is almost impossible to change – even if it was for the better.

Readers will recall that it was Paul Keating who originally proposed the GST in 1985 but failed and then hypocritically argued against its introduction to defeat the Hewson Opposition in 1993. When John Howard introduced the GST in 1999 it was opposed by the ALP. So much for the creation of a national tax policy in Australia. Rather we observe a history of political interference with what should be done and little acknowledgement of the best taxation policies adopted by our overseas peers. I draw a similar conclusion when I look at the retirement policy of Australia.

 

Franking

Franking was introduced into Australia taxation law in 1987. Before and since that time some of the 36 OECD member countries (of which we are one) have flirted with franking. The majority have clearly dismissed it as a complicated and unnecessary system. Whilst there are easier ways to stop the double taxation of dividends Australia is just one of just five OECD countries to have a full franking system. The other 29 OECD countries that don’t have any form of franking generally have lower income and company tax rates than we do.

In 1999 the Howard Government changed the law so that franking credits would become fully refundable. So today (as the ALP claims) Australia is the only country in the OECD to have cash rebate franking.

So is there a problem with franking? Australia’s unique implementation of franking? Or is it the retirement system and its interaction with taxation policy that needs fixing?

The answer would clearly be uncovered by a properly convened national taxation or/retirement policy enquiry – but as we know that enquiry will not be held in the current political climate. Therefore Australia is left with a taxation system that is complicated and which excessively taxes income and risk capital whilst under taxing consumption.

In this vacuum, we are confronted by the ALP proposals to change the franking system even though these are inconsistent with what they previously described as good policy and over which they presided as Government from 2007 to 2013.

It is worth recalling that in 2000, Simon Crean as shadow ALP treasurer, said this when the Howard franking bill was debated.

“Under this proposal, they will obtain a refund of their income tax from the Taxation Office, representing the excess imputation credits. Labor included this proposal in our taxation policy prior to the last election. Therefore we have no difficulty supporting the proposal because it is our policy. It builds on the major reform accomplished by Labor almost 15 years ago and it improves the current taxation situation faced by low -income investors, especially retired Australians”.

Labor was in government from 2007 to 2013. It apparently did not occur to them, when they had the opportunity, that franking cash rebates were unfair. Nor did they conclude that they were unaffordable even as the budget deficit ballooned to record levels. It was the ALP that presided over a $27 billion deficit in FY09, a $54 billion deficit in FY10, $47 billion deficit in FY11 and $43 billion deficit in FY12 – creating a debt that continued to expand under the current coalition Government.

In 2010 the Rudd Labor Government formed Australia’s Future Tax System Review (The Henry Tax Review). The review had the noble ambition of guiding the tax system for the next 10 to 20 years. From 138 recommendations the Rudd/Gillard Government seemingly adopted just one (a Resource Super Profit Tax). The significance of the enquiry was its insignificance, in that it did not receive bi-partisan input or support. The opportunity to deal with franking was glossed over because it was not perceived as a problem for the budget.

The above table on closer inspection also exposes a subtle point regarding the significance of franking credit cash rebates. The ALP notes that in FY2000 cash rebates amounted to $500 million and this has now ballooned to $5 billion in 2019. Today Australia’s economy is 3 times larger than it was in the year 2000 ($650 billion to $2 trillion) and it is axiomatic that franking rebates will grow as the economy grows.

Whilst cash rebates have grown faster than the economy and now represent just 1% of budget revenues, it is the result of a growing self-managed super industry and the desire of over a million Australians to look after themselves in retirement.

The benefits of franking cash rebates have been accessed by people who trusted the law as proclaimed by both sides of parliament. The fact, which I accept, that a minority of people (less than 1% of SMSFs) excessively access franking credits is something that both the ALP and the Liberal Coalition could easily rectify. Why they don’t do so following an agreed tax/super enquiry is another reason as to why I am fed up with this franking debate and politicians generally.

The table below shows that those whom excessively utilise franked cash rebates are easy to identify. Why is there not a reasonable benefit rule brought into the franking regime for the benefit of an average self-funded retiree?

The ALP policy fails the public policy test. It is not designed to improve Australia’s retirement policy because there is no outcome to which either the ALP or indeed the LNP has committed to. Both parties have no sense as to what is a good national retirement policy and what Australia’s pension system should look like.

The fact that over 70% of retirees still need access to a full or part paid Commonwealth pension shows that we actually do not have a national retirement policy that works. So why is that not an issue in the current election?

What really annoys me about the franking debate

I noted earlier that I rarely see politicians who disclose their conflicts of interest prior to arguing a case for change or no change. Yes, there is a parliamentary register of interests but it is presumptuous to expect that 25 million Australians have this at their disposal as they listen to politicians argue for or against policy changes.

One clear conflict is seen for those members of parliament who currently negatively gear residential property investments and who will benefit from grandfathering laws even though they state that these taxation benefits are grossly unfair to average taxpayers.

Another conflict will be created when and if the parliament proposes and debates a proposal to change to the law regarding franking credits and SMSFs, whilst maintaining the benefits of old parliamentary schemes. How many politicians are beneficiaries of the old Commonwealth Defined Benefit Scheme with its grandfathered entitlements?

From 2004 to 2006, the parliament took several decisions to reduce the burgeoning cost of defined benefit superannuation liability. These included closing the Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Scheme to new members of Parliament from 9 October 2004.

Shifting politicians and other public service employees from defined benefit to accumulation schemes reduced the fiscal risks to the government (i.e. the taxpayer) and checked the growth of the superannuation liability arising from civilian public sector employees. The massive projected growth in the Commonwealth defined benefit liability is captured in the next table from the budget of FY08.

Any parliamentarian who retains their pre-2004 defined benefits has a clear conflict of interest in arguing for changes to cash franking rebates that accrue to self-funded superannuation schemes.

Simply stated the politician’s conflict is this. Whilst the taxpayer has contributed by paying tax to fund my lifetime pension, I am not prepared to give it up. However, in the interest of “so-called fairness”, I support changes that take away franking cash rebates from retirees who rely upon them to fund their retirement. Whilst they relied upon government policy (which I supported) they can no longer do so because we can change that policy on a whim. However, we will not change a policy that grants me a lifetime indexed pension.

How does any politician argue that? The answer lies in integrity – or the lack of it.

The Future Fund of Australia has $150 billion of assets and is still apparently underfunded by $100 billion to fulfil its design to meet the unfunded defined benefits of ex Commonwealth public servants including politicians.

The Future Fund has not paid a pension to any of its beneficiaries since its creation in 2006. Indeed, it is not expected to pay a pension until at least 2026. By that time, it is hoped to grow to $250 billion in size whilst Australian taxpayers pay approximately $8 billion per annum in pensions for these public servants that will in the future include some current politicians.

To coin a phrase – how many hospitals and schools could be built if the Future Fund was today directed to pay its own pensions from its $150 billion fund?

In conclusion, I want to address the two furphies that are consistently stated by those who support the proposed cash franking rebates changes.

  1. It is claimed that members of SMSFs in pension phase pay no tax. Everyone (including pensioners) pay GST and that is tax; and
  2. It is claimed that pension members of a pooled super fund will receive a franked cash rebate under the ALP plan. They won’t. Franking credits (not cash rebates) will be generated by pension members but they will be used by accumulation members to minimise their tax. It is up to the trustees of pooled funds to arrange a debit to accumulation members and a corresponding credit to pension fund members inside the pool. The policy change as proposed results in tax being minimised.

Australia urgently needs a retirement (and a taxation policy) that is equitable and fair. It should be designed to endure and be appropriate for future generations.  It should be designed to ensure that all Australians can look forward to retirement without fear because an appropriate safety net is in place. A safety net that everyone has contributed to during their working life.

Longevity risk needs to be factored in and SMSF pensioners equitably treated so they don’t become a burden on the social security system.

Most importantly, the policy should be designed so that future governments are bound by the national policy framework with changes only recommended and approved if they enhance the clearly stated outcomes.

If you would like to hear John Abernethy deliver insights into global and domestic markets and investing in uncertain times, as well as the Clime Investment team explain how we select companies for our investment portfolios, you are welcome to attend our upcoming Mid-Year Investor Briefing. Click here to check locations, availability and book tickets.

Register for our Investing Report

Weekly insights, research & market commentary.

* Required fields

36 Responses to “Frankly annoying”

  1. William Barlin says:

    Thank you for this article. It is informative, to the point and most importantly it points out that our political system is divisive (haves and have-nots argument); is capable of unfairly impacting upon some community members (presently those that went the SMSF way of providing for retirement); does not allow for long-term policy settings and management; politicians are not answerable for mismanagement of own promises, the economy and underlying resources of the country; politicians seek electors to vote on the basis of splashing the cash that has been, in the first place, scooped from the taxpayers (those blamed to be filthy rich…); there is no notion on advocating the growth of the pie, instead election arguments are based on redistribution of current capital…; a very disappointing that after 50 years hard work in this country and my wife now disabled, she has to pull out over $6000 in tac credits to the government and having only $500,000 in SMSF to last her for the rest of her living time…

    • Edward Patching says:

      Well done John- an excellent contribution. Totally support your focus on the crying need for a morally-defensible underlying framework and agreed policy objectives. And the lamentable short-sightedness, political pandering, & conflicts of interest evident in the “how do we carve the pie to suit our side better” approach of politicians in both major parties.
      Thanks for your thoughts, John; one of the best pieces I have read throughout this entire sorry saga.
      Edward

  2. EDDIE O'Reilly says:

    Just a great piece of analysis–well done!!.

  3. cliff hignett says:

    Hope your little rant ‘frankly annoying ‘ makes you feel better. The ALP released this policy proposal 12 months ago. Neither you nor anyone else in the liberal party chose to set up the discussions you claim should have happened. Unfortunately, the liberal party no longer have any democratic procedures to workshop this sort of stuff anymore. I suspect the Liberal party dont actually have any active members anymore , so their policy development needs to be REALLY simple. like ” dont vote for ALP”.
    Hopefully, a long stint in opposition will fix the problem.

    • JOHN ABERNETHY says:

      Hi Cliff

      A couple of points.

      1. I did write extensively on the franking issue when the ALP introduced their policy;
      2. In my commentary I did suggest (using an RBL) as to how the ALP could substantially improve their policy;
      3. The ALP did not listen to me or anybody else; and
      4. I am not a member of the Liberal Party but I am pleased that you would suggest that as normally I described as a left winger!

      Cheers

      The Author

  4. Leo Savas says:

    Your Article about the Labor party’s Franking policy is amusing and somewhat disconnected with reality. The policy is addressing a moral and an ethical issue by way of a policy frame work. The moral issue is “Should citizens who are not paying tax get a tax refund”. The other moral issue is should low salary earners be taxed at the same rate as high salary earners or the same as Businesses.
    From an economic analysis point of view one should also address the slogans developed behind the ideological belief of the Trickle down belief and the notion that it is business that creates employment and not the consumer with amble discretionary spending capability.
    I recommend that next time you put pen to paper to write such articles that you engage your moral values first before your political values or the values derived from a financial analysis based on capitalist beliefs instead of Democratic socialist beliefs.

    • Gerry says:

      Well said. I can’t help wondering if those who push their own political values as the author has done, understand at all that a vibrant economy depends upon more people spending on goods and services rather than more people buying existing assets.

      • John Abernethy says:

        Dear Leo and Gerry
        Neither of you seem to understand the ALP proposal.
        If an individual has $1.6 million in a SMSF in pension mode they can not access a cash franked rebate.
        However, if the same person puts their fund into an Industry Fund then by a pooling arrangement they can access a franked rebate in cash. The rebate is an inter pool transfer from an accumulation member ( minimising or avoiding contribution tax) to a pension fund member.
        Now think about the above and please explain why I am wrong, that is fair and so I am biased.

        Regards
        John Abernethy ( the author)

    • Trevor says:

      TO LEO SAVAS :
      Your final TWO WORDS encapsulate your position precisely !
      “socialist beliefs.”
      To shove the word Democratic in front of them doesn’t change their meaning….Socialism is a toxic answer to ANY PROBLEM and it has killed hundreds of millions of people AND YET we still get people LIKE YOU who are enjoying ALL the benefits of the only successful system that generates wealth and prosperity and opportunity for all , Free Enterprise Capitalism , advocating it’s demise in favour of the often tried and always failed ideological fantasy of Socialism !
      Socialist advocates are the ones DIVORCED FROM REALITY and in DENIAL OF IT’S MURDEROUS OUTCOMES !
      It is YOU the needs to examine your “political values” because you
      sure as hell have NO MORAL VALUES ( by definition ! ).

    • Jim says:

      Strange comments especially when one considers the vast majority of Australians receive more in “handouts” than they pay in taxes. …..from Childcare to subsidised education, to family benefits etc.
      By the way the “tax refund” is tax paid on behalf of the shareholder by their company. It is shareholder money not anyone else.

  5. Cynthia says:

    Well argued. What stays with me about the absurdity of the Labor franking credit policy is that wealthier people still have the opportunity to utilise franking credits as a tax offset, whilst the relatively poor end of the retirement spectrum won’t. Many of these are older women, who, as Bill Shorten has stated, did not have the opportunity for, or consistency of, high income careers. These same women are the least likely to secure paid work. If they earn’t $20 000 in paid employment they’d pay about $255 tax. If they cobble an income together from investing and earn $8400 in dividend income they will suffer a net loss of around $3150 in relinquished franking credits. The effective tax on $20 000 becomes around $0.15 per dollar earnt. For a PAYG employee the figure is $0.013 cents per dollar earnt. In this instance, the small investor will effectively pay 91% more tax than someone with a low income job! There is no equity in that. The ALP have formulated ageist, sexist, insensible policy on the run.

  6. Very long winded about a simple issue. No wonder some people are confused if they had to read all of it. It is a refund of tax already paid That is all that needs to be said.

  7. Peter Young says:

    A somewhat biased pitch that ill deserves your advisory business.
    I suggest your read Australia Institute and Grattan reports.
    Howard and Costello did not do our economy and national equity any favours when they made their adjustments to taxation benefits while playing politically games as desperate measures to win elections
    Rgds
    Peter Y

  8. Michael Muldoon says:

    You didn’t mention that the Futures Fund arose thanks to $60.5b from sale of TLS etc our asset? And it Banked $835m in franking credits in 2018 suggesting that only $1.9b invested in Aus shares out of 145b in assets. All politicians have an interest in the Futures Fund so no wonder it was the first exempted. FAR GO FOR ALL – indeed!

  9. Gus says:

    I am a 67 years hold and unfortunately I have a SMSF, I have a message for joung people in the workforce to day: ” Blow your money with your joung family and your wife and travel the world that way you will be able to enjoy life while you are working (about 40 years) and
    do not wait to collect your super at 65 or holder for two reasons , one you may not get to that age (is not my wish) and second after 65 years of age you do not have another 40 years.

  10. Ray Pridmore says:

    I cannot allow to pass without comment the quote by Mr. Savas, “Should citizens who are not paying tax get a tax refund”. In posing such a question in respect of the proposed labor policy M. Savas, like Mr. Shorten, is displaying either ignorance or deceitfulness. The word “impute” means “to ascribe to a source” and the entire imputation system is based upon the fact that the tax being paid is ascribed to the person paying it. The fact is that if the company did not pay tax the shareholder would presumably receive a 30% higher dividend than the one he actually receives. Imputation recognises that the company has taken that tax prior to payment to the shareholder in exactly the same way that an employer takes the tax from the wages of an employee. If an employee is subsequently found to have suffered from his employer overpaying tax on his behalf then, quite rightly, he receives a refund. A shareholder is entitled to exactly the same reimbursement. It is Mr. Savas who needs to engage his moral values (and intellect) before putting pen to paper.

    • Jim Rowley says:

      Hear , hear! A simple and lucid explanation of why it is entirely equitable that the ‘excess’ franking credits should be given to the taxpayer. Under Labor’s proposal, taxpayers who have excess franking credits will effectively pay tax at a higher rate that those who do not. That is patently unfair. Those people will quickly restructure their income so as to be liable for more tax, which they will use their currently excess credits to offset. In the long run the government will be no better off. It is a poorly thought through policy, but one that unfortunately resonates loudly with the uninformed.

    • Trevor says:

      TO RAY PRIDMORE :
      I agree wholeheartedly with your comments Ray !
      I fear that any appeal to Mr Savas would fail on ideological grounds !
      George Orwell ,author of 1984 and Animal Farm and Road to Wigan Pier, himself a Socialist at first , summed it up best when he said :
      ” Socialists don’t love the poor , they just HATE THE RICH ! ”
      and generally that all depends on how they define the RICH , usually
      it is someone who has done materially better than they have , so it is hatred born of avarice , greed and envy ! What a sad philosophy !
      What a hollow and empty existence to be forever “THE VICTIM” , but
      I suppose that gives them the ability to avoid responsibility and any need to contribute to others benefit “because the State will do that for you ” ! ( or most likely DO THAT TO YOU ! if history has any bearing ).

    • Trevor Russell says:

      I wholeheartedly agree with Ray Pridmore. In fact I believe that companies should receive a tax deduction for dividends paid, enabling them to pay higher dividends, and there would be no need for the franking system at all. This system removes the double taxation of dividends and tax is paid by the shareholders at their respective marginal rate. Problem solved!

  11. Tony says:

    This article should have been published on the front page of every news paper sold in Australia. Unfortunately, I think it is too late to educate the voters at large. Keep it up.

  12. Iain says:

    Excellent article, John, but one other salient point. Labor claims to be all about fairness so how’s this for hypocrisy and double standards:
    As trade unions are classified by the ATO as non-profits, they do not pay income tax. Labor’s says those who do not pay income tax should not receive “gifts” in the form of franking credit refunds. So why should trade unions, which have never paid tax, get refunds while retirees, who paid tax all their working lives, forfeit theirs?
    Is this Labor’s example of fairness?
    If the ALP wanted to be fair, it could state that unions will still be exempt from tax but will not be eligible for franking credit refunds.

  13. Alistair says:

    The data presented in the article clearly illustrates why the franking refund needs to be changed. A very high proportion of the refunds goes to funds with large balances. If one drew a line at say $1M, which for most people today would be a significant super fund, the proportion of refunds going to the funds above this level is extraordinary. It is a distortion that strongly favours the asset rich in our community. As a non-Labour party voter, I commend them for taking on what is a major imbalance in our tax system.

  14. Andrew Cochrane says:

    Australia is the only country which has instituted franking credits.
    It was designed to avoid double taxation.
    In the absence of this system, as we used to have and every other country still has, the company would pay 30% tax (or less) , and then the shareholder would pay tax (or no tax in some cases depending on their taxable income).
    The first component is the corporate tax, and every company should pay tax on their profits to the government of the day.
    Then, if the shareholder is due to pay tax, the part already paid is recognised to avoid the double taxation. So I pay another 15% given my marginal tax rate.
    If the shareholder is not paying tax, then the component which is the corporate tax should stay with the Treasury. Otherwise we have turned avoidance of double taxation into no taxation at all. Labor is returning to the system set up by Keating, which was then altered by Costello and Howard in an attempt to win a few more votes from the elderly.
    I fully support going back to the way the system was originally intended. Companies should pay tax fullstop. That tax should stay with the government, not go to the shareholder who has been able to minimize their tax.

    • Garry says:

      You say ‘every company should pay tax on their profits …’. Listed Trusts (eg Westfield) do not pay tax. What is your view on that?

  15. Chris Lewis says:

    As a conservative and a self funded retiree with 30% equities in my fund I am happy with the franking credit change. It is fair and just. We all have to pay our way, all our lives. I am also a big supporter of ending negative gearing for ‘used’ properties. As chair of a major not for profit I am acutely aware of the huge number of people on modest incomes who took financial advice and bought investment properties, in fringe city areas, many using 100% finance. Now, those who have lost tenants or have other problems, are in big trouble as they owe 10-25% less than the property is worth and if they can’t pay the interest they are financially ruined and emotionally ruined. They should never have been in this situation. The only people who were ever guaranteed to make money our of negative gearing are mortgage brokers, financial advisers, banks and real estate agents. Their focus is the set up. When the investment fails they still ge5 paid. This article and many like it offer some good technical points but are really aimed at the 25% of the community with real cash to invest. The feelings of of the much bigger sector are ignored.

  16. Alex says:

    Great article John. Pity the Liberals are so inept at arguing this case (and many others). Morrison’s performance is improving as the weeks go by, but a “one man band”, I fear, will be no match for Labor this time, and they know it. John Abernethy for PM !.

  17. Ray says:

    Excellent article. How long do we have to wait for our major political parties to work together in a bi-partisan manner to form a fair tax and retirement policy framework? Unfortunately this does not look likely to happen at all and taxpayers and retirees can not make investment decisions with any certainty of the tax rules remaining the same.

  18. Peter Rogers says:

    My wife and I run our own SMSF and small washing machine repair business. We have voted Labor at every election the past 40 years. This election we voted Liberal and will never vote Labor again. We are disgusted that the Labor party could propose such a mean and cruel policy to deny franking credit refunds and sell such a policy based on the big fat LIE that shareholders have not paid any tax. When Paul Keating introduced franking credits in the 80’s he said: “The introduction of the franking credit system is in order to recognize the FACT that tax HAS been paid on income received as a dividend”. Now the Labor party is prepared to throw hundreds of thousands of self funded retirees onto the financial scrapheap with the callous and glib statement: “Times have changed”. Truly disgusting people

  19. Peter M. Wargent. says:

    Hope you’ve posted your missive to ALL parliamentarians.

  20. Victor de Lorenzo says:

    Unfortunately 75% of Labor voters would not be able to read most of this article.

  21. Trevor says:

    I am feeling much relieved and more charitable now that B.S. and his crooks and cronies have been REFUSED THE TREASURY BENCHES !!! HOORAY !! WELL DONE FELLOW AUSTRALIANS !!!
    Regards and best wishes to you all ! TREVOR.

  22. Karen says:

    Double taxation targeting the most vulnerable is morally wrong. Hopefully all these arguments about imputation credits will be moot come Monday morning.!

  23. Alvin says:

    Nicely written and well analyzed piece. I agree with more bi-partisan agreements on issues that concern our national interests, like tax reform, social equality and climate change.

    It seems so wrong that we can structure our finances so that we pay zero tax in our retirement whilst we watch others struggle. Surely a balanced can be struck here, and there in lies the problem, how to draw a line between greed and overtax.

  24. Brian says:

    Well it all doesn’t matter now thank God.

  25. David Harvey says:

    Taxing dividends in the hands of low-income (up to $37,000) at the company tax rate is unfair. Not taxing dividends at all is also unfair. The only fair system is to tax dividends (gross) together with other income at the appropriate marginal rates and then refund any tax already paid (PAYG or company tax).

  26. Leigh says:

    Now we should expose what extra super benefits our MPs get at our expense. What a cheek! Everyone, including parliamentarians and the public service should get the same contributions as are mandated for every other employer. What does this perk cost us taxpayers? Perhaps Bill Shorten and his top end of town cronies should have their contributions cut immediately and see how it feels.

The information provided on this webpage and the rest of clime.com.au is intended for general use only. The information presented does not take into account the investment objectives, financial situation and advisory needs of any particular person nor does the information provided constitute investment advice. Under no circumstances should investments be based solely on the information herein. Please consider our Information Memorandum, Product Disclosure Statement and Financial Services Guide before investing in one of our products. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns.
  • Copyright © 2019 Clime Investment Management Limited
CALL 1300 788 568

Sign in to: