Regulation, Superannuation

Trustees maintain rage over franking credit policy

SMSF trustees and retirees continue to be outraged over franking credits proposal.

SMSF trustees and self-funded retirees have continued to express their anger over Labor’s proposed changes to franking credit refunds at the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics public hearings on the subject, despite conflict-of-interest claims against committee chair MP Tim Wilson.

At a recent hearing held at Chatswood on Sydney’s north shore, around 40 individuals voiced their fury over the proposed policy via verbal submissions, revealing the opportunity cost involved with the change.

Of the submissions made, two individuals in particular summed up the sentiment toward the policy conveyed on the day.

SMSF trustee David Sweeten asked the committee: “Why are the DIY funds of this world being discriminated against?

“Most DIY funds would be self-employed people … who don’t want to be [dependent] on the government … and now you’re taking that away from them – their [self-]esteem [and] their opportunity to do other things.

“The opportunity cost of losing the franking credit [refunds] for many of us [includes] money to help grandchildren, money to help your adult children a whole range of ways, [the ability] to do volunteer work … it’s not fair.

“The Labor Party and the extent of their taxation policy and what’s proposed is enormous.”

However, Sweeten was critical of the government as well, pointing out how the imputation credit policy is only one of many issues SMSF trustees have had to deal with in the recent past.

“The Liberal Party cannot be excused [either]. Under the Turnbull government, which you were all part of, you introduced the caps on superannuation. We can live with that, but now [Labor] is going further.”

Self-funded retiree Betty pointed out one fact she thought was being lost in the discussion.

“[Opposition leader] Bill Shorten said: ‘Why should people who don’t pay tax get refunds.’ It is our money. We worked and paid tax to support the elderly and now we should receive the same consideration,” she said.

“Time will not allow us to change financial arrangements which were carefully planned over 20 years ago. This should not be violated.”

Anger was also expressed over the inequity involved with the proposal, with many attendees asking why industry funds were not going to be directly affected, but SMSFs were.

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