CHRIS BOWEN MP
ACTING SHADOW MINISTER FOR SMALL BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL SERVICES
MEMBER FOR MCMAHON
DIVIDEND IMPUTATION REFORM: THE FACTS
SloMo has been true to form when it comes to Labor’s dividend imputation reform policy, choosing lies and the low road over pursuing fair and sustainable Budget repair.
SLOMO FLOP NO.1: Morrison claims that 97 per cent of individuals who receive refunds of franking credits have taxable income below $87,000.
MISLEADING – This was the same dodgy trick Morrison used with negative gearing despite knowing most of the benefits going to wealthier households (even his own Treasury advice pointed this out but he continued to lie about it). Australian Taxation Office taxable income data explicitly excludes tax free superannuation income. The fact is a lot of the income people receive in retirement is ‘tax free’ because it comes out of retirement phase super funds. Pretending that cash refunds are somehow the preserve of the working poor simply defies the facts.
SLOMO FLOP NO.2: Morrison claims that “dividends are no longer protected from double taxation”.
WRONG – Keating introduced the original dividend imputation system to avoid double taxation of company profits and that’s the system Labor will return to.
SLOMO FLOP NO.3: Yesterday Morrison said that “government has never entertained” changes to cash refunds on dividend imputation.
WRONG – The Government’s own 2015 Re:think Tax Discussion paper stated that “there are some revenue concerns with the refundability of imputation credits”. And we now see the extraordinary revelation today that Treasury considered dividend imputation reform in the lead up to Scott Morrison’s last year’s Budget.
The Treasurer has questions to answer today given reports that Treasury reportedly undertook work on this particular reform last year. What did he know and when?
Labor’s reforms winding back cash refunds will make the tax system fairer as most of the benefits accrue to wealthier self-managed superannuation funds.
Our policy will help ensure that Labor can protect the 7 million Australians that are being hit with income tax rises from next year under the Government’s plans and we can properly fund our schools and hospitals.
WEDNESDAY, 14 MARCH 2018