Franking credits could cost votes

Older Australians are unimpressed with Labor’s plan to deny franking credit refunds if it wins the next federal election, with more than half of respondents in the YourLifeChoices’ Friday Flash Poll saying the issue would encourage them to vote for a party other than the ALP.

The proposal to withhold taxes paid on share dividends was certainly divisive among our members, with 16 per cent of respondents claiming that the issue made them more likely to vote for the ALP at the next election.

With 1073 respondents to the poll, the results show that those most upset about the proposed change are the ones with the most to lose.

Nearly half of respondents (49 per cent) to the survey were fully self-funded, which compares to roughly 30 per cent of the general retired population, while a further 11 per cent of respondents were still employed either full time or part time.

Two-thirds (67 per cent) admitted that they owned shares outside of their superannuation and 63 per cent claimed that they would be directly affected by the policy change.

Of the 3.8 million Australians aged 65 and over, the policy stands to affect just on 10 per cent of them.

In the YourLifeChoices 2018 Retirement Matters Survey, we learnt that more than 34 per cent of the 5203 participants owned shares outside of super.

With the numbers heavily skewed towards those most likely to be affected, it was perhaps unsurprising that 60 per cent of respondents considered franking credit refunds fair, while only 31 per cent supported the tax loophole being removed.

The following are the opinions of YourLifeChoices members and not necessarily those of the writer or publisher. Some have been edited for style and grammar purposes.

“Pensioners are the new elite in today’s Australia – and so consumed with greed, selfishness and envy that they are cheering Shorten’s vicious attack on the self-funded. Sadly, they will hurt most when the policy is implemented and the damage it threatens to the economy is realised. Poor fools think there is a bottomless pit filled with money. They just don’t get that someone has to foot their bills – and destroying the lifestyle of those who not only funded pensions when they were working, but planned to ensure they continued to be lifters in retirement, may well be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back – plunging us into deep Depression.” ~ OnlyGenuineRainey

“Tax people according to their income instead. It is not right that people can earn $110,000 and pay no tax after retirement age. Under Labor many of these people will still do that but a person earning $20,000 will have his income reduced by not refunding this franking credits. This is the same as taxing him at 30 per cent whereas the person on $110,000 pays not tax.” ~ VeryCaringBigBear

“To change tax rules that impact retirees and make it retrospective is patently unfair. It could be grandfathered for example to give those of us who dare to be self funded and do not rely on government funds for our retirement.” ~ Ferny

“The top end always takes care of itself and retirees have been constantly under attack from the current government. The last thing we need is to force self funded retirees to live off their capital rather than the dividends thereon. The result of that will be many more on the pension. What then?” ~ Mick

“Find an Independent of some standing and vote for them. The Wentworth by-election has seen the Liberal stronghold smashed. The main parties need to be destroyed and sent back to the wilderness until they get some semblance of decency.” ~ Retired Knowall

“Great and meaningful survey. My cynical view of Mr Shorten is that he is working to remove the loophole for the benefit of industry super funds. If my wife and I owned a business, we would distribute the profits between ourselves and pay tax only once. My wife and I are part owners (shareholders) in approximately 30 companies and they pay tax on our behalf hence we are entitled to claim it back if we are not liable (franking credits). We are not wealthy, but independent through 45 years of marriage, working hard and managing our expenditure to provide for an independent retirement. Shorten needs to come clean and tell us which industry super funds put pressure on the Labor party or which union leaders.” ~ Mon

“Everyone with this sort of investment only has it because it is ‘tax effective’ ie, rips off the general public. Anyone affected will just ask their accountant to find a new investment vehicle. Big deal.” ~ Travellersjoy

“Maybe sell the shares? If they are such a burden, get rid of them and use the money in another way. Luckily, we have nothing but our home to worry about protecting. Maybe pity the single pensioner who has no home and is struggling to afford their medicines and food. Some have become homeless. In Venezuela people are starving and children are on the streets. People are going through rubbish dumps hoping to find a bit of food. Watching this on TV this morning should put things in perspective about first world issues where we have food and don’t have to give away our children because we cannot feed them.” ~ Paddington

Related articles:
Should this tax loophole be closed?
Is BoMaD ruining your retirement?
Super still a work in progress

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Ben Hocking
Ben Hocking
Ben Hocking is a skilled writer and editor with interests and expertise in politics, government, Centrelink, finance, health, retirement income, superannuation, Wordle and sports.
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