Senate debates

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Statements by Senators


1:43 pm

Photo of Paul ScarrPaul Scarr (Queensland, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

It's always a pleasure to follow Senator Glenn Sterle, at least in the speaking order as opposed to the ideology.

What is it about the Labor Party and franking credits? They are obsessed. They are monomaniacal about franking credits. They're like Captain Ahab chasing the great white whale, Moby Dick. That's what they're like with franking credits. It didn't end well for Captain Ahab. It's not going to end well for the Australian Labor Party. This week we've had disclosed, from the Department of the Treasury, key budget measures on corporate taxation. The cat is out of the bag, and what a mangy, feral little beastie it is. This is what Treasury—not me but Treasury—said in relation to the attack on franking credits in off-market share buybacks:

Shareholders who benefit most from the franking credits attached to an OMSBB may argue the policy is effectively a tax increase or a winding back of dividend imputation.

Shareholders can argue that, because it is effectively a tax increase or a winding back of dividend imputation. In the context of off-market share buybacks, many Australians rely upon those franking credits. In relation to the franked distributions raised by capital raising, Treasury says, 'There were significant concerns raised by the public.' Rightly so because, again, this is a vague policy. It's uncertain, it's retrospective, it will hobble Australian companies' capital raising measures and it's ill informed. The government should abandon this policy, which will hurt millions of Australians.


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