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Regulation, Tax

Imputation credit policy reversal not guaranteed

Individuals concerned about the Labor Party’s proposed banning of franking credit refunds in certain circumstances should not expect a future coalition government to repeal the policy should it become law, a representative for senior Australians has advised.

To evidence this theory, National Seniors Australia chief advocate Ian Henschke shared correspondence he had received from a former founder of his organisation with attendees at the Fairer Retirement Summit in Sydney last week.

The message Henschke read out stated: “I phoned a couple of Liberal MPs and they told me if the forecast changes to franking credit legislation comes through, they will not repeal it when they next win power. They reckon [opposition leader Bill] Shorten is right to take the franking credits and they are quite happy for him to take the flack not them.”

Henschke said: “That tells me there are people within the Liberal Party, [despite what] they told us today, who would say ‘I’m quite happy to have that’ because they’d be quite happy to have the billions of dollars too.”

A comprehensive review of the taxation system, as opposed to the piecemeal approach currently being employed, is the action needed, he added.

Further, he called for a bipartisan approach to developing the retirement system for future years, with a longer time horizon to be taken into consideration.

“We should be looking ahead not just for the next four years, but for the next 40, and it’s time that both sides of [politics] did that and not play these games where they say ‘well if Shorten does get in and do this, we’ll just leave it there because we need that money too’,” he said.

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