House debates

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Constituency Statements

Dividend Imputation

4:36 pm

Photo of Sarah HendersonSarah Henderson (Corangamite, Liberal Party, Assistant Minister for Social Services) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise to speak about 81-year-old Frank Mullins, who lives in Anglesea. Frank Mullins has worked hard all his life. I met with him recently to talk about his devastation in relation to Labor's proposed retiree tax. He will, under Labor's policy, if ever Labor were to be elected, of his income of $45,000 a year, lose $10,000 in franking credits by reason of his excess franking credits, denying him the refund from the ATO. This is a terrible and shocking attack on older Australians.

Everywhere I go, right across the Corangamite electorate, people are more and more angry about this policy. I say to them, 'Take on board what the member for McMahon, the shadow Treasurer has said: if you don't like it, don't vote Labor.' Well, I'm saying the same thing to all Australians: if you don't like this proposal, do not vote Labor, because the Liberal and National government proudly stands by older Australians, retirees, self-funded retirees and also pensioners. I want to make a very important point: this does not just affect self-funded retirees—mainly low-income earners; it also impacts pensioners who took out a self-managed superannuation fund after 28 March 2018 or anyone with a self-managed superannuation fund who becomes a pensioner after 28 March 2018.

In my electorate of Corangamite, an electorate I very proudly represent, there are 9,000 people who would be impacted—9,000 local residents. If we take in the adjoining electorate of Corio in the Geelong region, that makes a total of 15,000 local residents. The other myth that Labor is trying to put out there is that this will only hurt those on higher incomes. Well, in fact, the reverse is the case. This hits mainly people on low incomes. Eighty-four per cent of the individuals impacted are on a taxable income of less than $37,000, and 96 per cent of the individuals impacted are on a taxable income of below $87,000. It absolutely defies the fairness test because, if you're earning $200,000 a year and receiving a $7,000 dividend on your shares, you get the full benefit of the franking credits. This is a terrible and shocking policy. We condemn the Labor Party and proudly stand by all older Australians.