Letter | Sorry, Senator Keneally, you're wrong about franking rebates

IN response to Senator Kristina Keneally’s letter in the Oberon Review on February 28 ("Franking facts"), unfortunately she is just continuing to promote Labor propaganda and misconception.

The assertion that current arrangements re franking credit rebates are welfare for the wealthy retirees is dismissive and arrogant. The wealthy have accountants to work out various strategies to take account of any changes in government policy.

No, this is an attack on the low income retiree, the working middle class who worked and saved for their retirement under current government law, and the mum and dad shareholders.

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In fact, this punitive tax would adversely affect all Australians because the current system not only removes double taxation, but promotes investment in Australian companies. This will create economic stability, more jobs and more tax being paid.

However, many financial advisers, in anticipation of a change of government, are already advising retirees to ditch Australian shares in favour of offshore equities. So instead of Australian retirees investing in safe Australian blue chip shares, they are being forced to change to risky offshore accounts which they don’t understand and know nothing about. The Australian economy will suffer as a result. Jobs will be lost. 

The other Labor misconception that Senator Keneally is promoting is that why should retirees who pay zero tax get a refund. Well, this is a very clever and nasty misconception. It misleads a lot of people. Retirees have paid tax through the company according to the number of shares they own. Dividend imputation was introduced to avoid double taxation on the profits of companies operating in Australia, firstly by the tax paid by the company and secondly in the hands of the shareholder. 

Ms Keneally, when you do your own tax return, I presume you expect a tax refund on any excess tax paid over your marginal rate, so why are you trying to deny this to retirees and continue to promote Labor’s retiree tax grab? It is not a tax on the wealthy as you are promoting, it is a punitive tax on modest retirees and low income earners. 

As to assertions by Chris Bowen and Bill Shorten that they are not worried about retirees because they do not need their vote, this is a very dangerous precedent and not acceptable in modern Australian politics. A government needs to represent all its constituents and not exclude one section of the community merely because it feels it doesn’t need its vote. This just shows that Mr Shorten is not to be trusted. Also, eventually we all will become retirees. 

Hundreds of thousands of retirees have felt betrayed by the major parties and have flocked to independents and small parties. While many of these have merit, many of their preferences will flow on to Labor and the Greens. This will ensure a Labor victory.

Member for Calare Andrew Gee has been warned that he and Prime Minister Scott Morrison need to regain the retiree vote. Retirees are asking why this is not happening. Time is running out. 

Mike O’Brien, Oberon