The federal government will soon establish a website to encourage all concerned parties to express their views to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics inquiry into the proposed removal of franking credit refunds for certain individuals.
Speaking at the Fairer Retirement Summit in Sydney yesterday, committee chair Tim Wilson said: “It’s going to be designed to encourage people to make submissions directly to the inquiry.
“There will be a standard pro forma, where people can add their own information, remove information as they see fit, but as a pathway to get people involved.
“[We want] to get people to not just make a submission to the inquiry, but to follow through so that they can then be part of local campaigning.”
To this end, Wilson revealed hearings for the inquiry will not be confined to major capital cities around the country, but will also be held in regional areas.
“I want to make sure that the people who are often retired, often live in decentralised communities, particularly in rural and regional areas, who don’t have a voice in national media, are able to get up and say what they want and how they’re going to be affected [by this proposal],” he said.
According to Wilson, a large number of Australians currently do not know they will be affected by the Labor Party’s proposed policy due to their ignorance regarding the dividend imputation system.
“They don’t know they are going to be affected because it’s what their accountant does for them and it’s just lines on a piece of paper when they get their tax at the end of the year and they are generally happy,” he said.
He pointed out attendees and retirees had the power to change the situation.
“My call to action to you today is that you need to be talking to other people about [this proposed policy],” he said.
“You in this room and the people you speak to and the organisations you represent have the reach and the potential to be able to change that conversation for the country.”
The Member for Goldstein emphasised the significance of this change to the dividend imputation system by describing it as a topic that has a much more profound effect on the lives of Australians with regard to the sense of security they will have in their retirement than any other.
“In fact, it is a complete vandalism of a change in the tax system in isolation,” he said.