Economists warn against company tax cuts

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The debate over company tax cuts is heating up ahead of the Federal Budget, with the Coalition seemingly fighting an uphill battle to get its gift to big business through to the keeper.

If you believe the Government’s party line, its corporate tax cut will save the economy through an assumed philanthropic attitude demonstrated by the beneficiaries of the concession.

Yet history has proven otherwise. Australia experienced its lowest unemployment in the 50s when the company tax rate was 46 per cent. Right now, it’s 30 per cent and the Government wants to drop it to 25 per cent.

While the Government may believe that big business will use the money made through tax cuts to create new jobs, re-invest in businesses and potentially keep manufacturing onshore, the reality will probably be different. The cuts are more likely lead to share buybacks, increased dividends to shareholders, profits heading offshore, and mergers and acquisitions that will only serve to widen the gap between rich and poor.

The proposal to cut company tax has its supporters, mainly the Government. Some MPs are willing to support the tax cuts to a certain extent, such as Senator Derryn Hinch, who supports a tax cut for companies with a turnover of up to $500 million – but only if banks are excluded.

Should tax cuts go through, banks stand to earn up to $9.5 billion a year. Seems a strange reward for the unscrupulous acts and scandals being highlighted in the royal commission into banking.

Senator Pauline Hanson has also weighed in on the debate. She wants savings made by banks from tax cuts to fund the stability of the financial system, so taxpayers don’t have to foot the bill should banks crash. And she also believes the savings should be used to compensate victims of dodgy banking practices.

“I would like to see the money quarantined from the company tax cuts,” said Ms Hanson.

“That the money is actually paid back to those people who have suffered at the hands of the banks.”

Senator Hanson said the banks should also cover the cost of the royal commission.

Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer doesn’t think a “new taxation system that’s based on a morality tax” is the answer.

“I mean, let’s get a little bit real here,” she told ABC’s Insiders yesterday.

Independent Senator Tim Storer stymied passage of the tax cuts legislation last month. Labor and the Greens also oppose the tax cuts, but the Government is determined to revive the concessions. Labor Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh published a paper that shows companies paying less than 25 per cent tax are shedding jobs while those that pay more than 25 per cent are growing their workforce by around two per cent a year.

“Across a cross-section of profitable Australian firms, I find no evidence that those which pay a lower effective rate of tax create more jobs,” wrote Mr Leigh.

Even voters – including Coalition voters – are opposed to it, say the findings of a recent Australia Institute survey.

And while the Government’s position on company tax cuts may already have been difficult to defend, it could now be almost untenable.

However, economists say that there’s a way to get tax right so that society benefits – potentially, most of all, age pensioners. 

An open letter signed by 47 economists and prominent Australians has told the Government that ripping revenue from the economy is not the answer, stating that Australia has a revenue problem and that we should be looking to increase tax intake not reduce it.

The public would be the victims of this shortfall and the only way to make it up would be to raise other taxes and to cut public services.

The letter’s signatories believe that a strong society, with a solid education, health and infrastructure spend is the best way to create jobs and growth. Tax cuts would only serve to increase inequality, damage Australia’s innovation program and lead to stagnant growth. The group claims that we should be looking to increase taxes, bringing the country up to OECD tax levels so we can improve society, not just the balances of shareholders and power portfolios of corporate chief executives. In fact, Australia is one of the lowest taxing countries in all of the OECD.

Even the Government’s intergenerational report, used to create modelling for its economic policy, shows that current taxation levels will keep us in the red for at least three more decades.

A article written by The Australia Institute’s Executive Director Ben Oquist, published in The Sydney Morning Herald, explained how findings from a research paper from his colleagues Rod Campbell and Cameron Murray revealed that “if Australia had the same tax to GDP ratio as the United Kingdom we could triple the Age Pension.”

Mr Oquist wrote: “If we had OECD average levels of tax we could build two new NBNs every year. If we had the same tax level as Denmark, we could increase education and health spending fourfold.”

The debate over company tax cuts will rage on until the Federal Budget, and yet to this point it seems the ‘nays’ have it. 

Do you think company tax cuts are the answer? Is the Government fighting a losing battle? Why do you think it keeps trying to push a policy that is A: so unpopular and B: one which has so much evidence piled against it?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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308 Comments

Total Comments: 308
  1. 0
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    Company tax should be cut back to 15%.

    Why should the banks take the blame because people too on too much risk and lost? If so then shareholders should be compensated because the Royal Commission caused bank share prices to fall.

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      It’s a little thing called ‘duty of care’, Ebergeezer. You can play that ‘buyer beware’ game as long as you like, but businesses have responsibilities and duties and codes to adhere to.

      Shareholders are not in the same category – and they should rightly blame the banks for any falls – especially if those falls are created by their own malfeasance. In fact, you are one of the first to argue that the ‘shareholders’ own the company – so you own its mis-deeds as well.

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      So you haven’t noticed the shareholders of AMP have now set up a class action because of the royal Commission?

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      Really? No, I didn’t know that, OG. As a minor shareholder, I guess I should investigate.

      Trebor, I agree companies have a ”duty of care”. And shareholders DO own the company, but minor shareholders can’t be responsible for the conduct of the company. They are unlikely even to know about it. I learned that Adelaide & Bendigo Bank was treating customers disgracefully, being very dishonest, so I sold my shares in it. But I only found out because I helped one of their clients to sort out some problems they caused. Otherwise, how would I know?

      The Directors and executives should be personally liable to the shareholders if their misconduct causes shareholder losses. They should have to pay the damages out of their personal wealth. They take enough when the going is good!

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      Really? No, I didn’t know that, OG. As a minor shareholder, I guess I should investigate.

      Trebor, I agree companies have a ”duty of care”. And shareholders DO own the company, but minor shareholders can’t be responsible for the conduct of the company. They are unlikely even to know about it. I learned that Adelaide & Bendigo Bank was treating customers disgracefully, being very dishonest, so I sold my shares in it. But I only found out because I helped one of their clients to sort out some problems they caused. Otherwise, how would I know?

      The Directors and executives should be personally liable to the shareholders if their misconduct causes shareholder losses. They should have to pay the damages out of their personal wealth. They take enough when the going is good!

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      Precisely, Rainey – I was just pointing out the obvious to OG – as usual.

      I agree that those running the show should bear the lion’s share of responsibility – and not just via some pat on the back of the hand…

      OG’s comment about how the banks were transferring that L:IABILITY in financial planning over to ‘new’ companies while still retaining a stranglehold on those ‘new’ companies, is one reason I’ve been saying that there is a need to change company law and how such deals are done.

      It is too easy to offload responsibility while still getting cash out of it, and then saying “not us – it’s them!”.

      Governments do the same things with privatisation.. offload all care and responsibility, and then pretend that even when they remain the major shareholder, they have no responsibility for anything, even the price hikes the approve.

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      OG….you are clearly a rich man looking after number 1. Sad for you and at the same time angry that you think crapping on people who cannot afford to live any more is anything other than evil. Making a statement about yourself mate!

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      Mick, there’s been an awful lot of the ”cannot afford to live” crapping on people for what seems to be regarded as a crime – working and saving for retirement and trying to self-fund as far as possible. Certainly the Labor Party is now crapping on them big time, and it’s rather disgraceful that pensioners are supporting that, and many of them being abusive in doing so.

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      Whoever lied to ASIC should be blamed. Individual shareholders should be exempt from blame.

      But this is the problem with corporations – no-one is EVER held personally responsible for any wrong-doing because they can hide behind “Propriety Limited”.

      It doesn’t matter if they break the law. If they have to cop a fine they just build that cost into their business. Problem solved.
      Then they put their hand out for a big fat bonus AND GET IT!

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      MICK is right, OG is merely making a statement about himself.
      Even Banks are admitting they are guilty every day at the RC, but not OG!

      Duty of care to Customers is paramount, as is the Boards and Managements’ responsibility to shareholders. Those who cheated and those who shut their eyes to the dishonest behaviour, including ASIC people, should be dealt with severely!
      They have to ensure the consequences are strong as a deterrent to future such dishonest behaviours – just like the system punishes small criminals!

      While they are at it, the motivation, i.e. Greed based on excessively large salaries and even larger bonuses / incentives, MUST be severely addressed, in favour of more limited incentives focused on Customer Satisfaction measured independently with reduced focus on profits (it is still important but not the only factor as at present).

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      Important points to note are “Australia is one of the lowest taxing countries in all of the OECD”, and “if Australia had the same tax to GDP ratio as the United Kingdom we could triple the Age Pension.”.
      For those who don’t know, in USA in addition to Federal taxes, States also levy taxes, hence the headline rate for Federal tax rates are not valid for comparison.

      Also, even USA has had a Minimum Tax system for a very long time, due to which even Trump (with massive back losses to claim) had to pay $150 Million taxes in 2005.
      MINIMUM TAX is badly overdue here with a large number of companies (especially many large ones) and wealthy NOT PAYING ANY or paying NEGLIGIBLE Taxes.

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      OG is unfortunately not that wrong. I personally know of one woman who makes a living out of compensation from companies who she says have done the wrong thing by her. Sadly she is now using social media very successfully to further feather her nest and showing others how to do the same. She uses crowd funding to support her court cases and pay her lawyers etc. People with similar problems to hers gladly contribute. If you say one word against her you are tarred and feathered. I am hoping karma will eventually stop her but she also plays on the fact that she is ill and doesn’t know how long she can support others etc.

      Sadly we live in a world where once people for gave others now they sue them.

  2. 0
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    Many seem to forget that most Australians are shareholders in the big banks and companies via our Superannuation. Bit rich to demonise shareholders then.

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      If Shorten has his way, Mindy, only the wealthy will be able to invest in Australian companies. Oh, and the pensioner elite! Struggling self-funded retirees are already demonized, and now Shorten wants to demolish their lifestyle – claiming that taking a few thousand in franking credits off them will help the budget. Not sure how the idiot thinks he’s going to pay the tens of thousands in pensions he’ll then have to pay to the 100,000+ whose lifestyle he demolished with double taxation.

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      OGR Have you read how Shorten wants to unionise the whole country? If this proposal gets through it will send many small businesses to the wall and big businesses off shore. Basically if you are not a worker in this country or on welfare you will be stuffed.

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      OG, I’m currently reading Hitler’s life story, and about the rise of Nazi Germany, and I’m amazed at the similarities between Hitler’s approach to society and the economy and Shorten’s. Scary!

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      Oh my goodness this thread is full of Liberal Party trolls.

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      There was an article over the weekend that spelled out his unionistic policy.

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      No, Dave R. There are a few intelligent and responsible folk here who don’t believe that they are entitled to be fed and clothed and housed by others and do nothing for themselves, but then scream that workers and savers should be robbed and plunged into poverty.

      Funny thing is, Dave R, that it’s people like you who will suffer most when you finally get what you want. When the nation is stuffed because of your greed, there will be nothing to give the welfare bludgers. I sincerely hope we’ll still find ways to care for the genuinely needy, respectful and appreciative, but I will enjoy seeing the likes of you begging. You richly deserve to suffer the fate you wish on others.

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      Utter rubbish OG – if all businesses were unionised, all that would happen is that the rip-off merchants masquerading as business people would be caught out.

      No business would be ‘sent to the wall’ by having to ensure they pay correct rates of pay and conditions – unless they are already non-viable.

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      Perhaps you should find it and read it instead of blindly commenting. Businesses should have the right to sack workers and what business can afford to pay a person 14 days leave because they have a black eye? Casual means casual not permanent too. I certainly wouldn’t employ anyone under the conditions Shorten wants to bring in. I occasionally get in a lady to do some cleaning but I wouldn’t be allowed to do that as I would have to employ her regularly and I couldn’t sack her either. Thank goodness for the black market as I will need to use it.

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      Have no fear, Mindy – once the thieves in the banks are sorted out and an honest deal is offered that people can trust – business will boom, and so will returns.

      One day they may all wake up to the simple fact that when you are dealing with people, trust is a big part of it, and not just how much you can rob them of.

      Your current position is like saying it’s better top retain a dishonest police force than to create an honest one…. just because of some short-term disruption in getting rid of the crooks.

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      Businesses have the right to sack workers fairly – not just on some arbitrary whim.

      Equally it should be argued that if a business manager was not up job – he/she should be sacked by the workers.. fair’s fair, eh?

      If fourteen days off for a black eye is within entitlement such as sick leave – that’s how it is.

      Typical of you to advocate serfdom and a massively divided society headed for the guillotine for the fat… but stoopid is as stoopid does…

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      Not if Labor gets into power they wont.

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      Oh no no no no no, they DON’T, Trebor. The unfair dismissal laws are hideously UNFAIR to employers and protect useless bludgers and trouble-makers. I’ve seen instances of people taking a job just so they can plot to get an unfair dismissal payout. A judge told me 90% of employers just pay ”piss off money” (pardon the language) because it costs far too much to defend, no matter how strong the defence.

      A couple of cases I saw – an employee sued for unfair dismissal after being sacked for flatly REFUSING to work unless the employer replaced a near-new and perfectly operational $150,000 computer network with a network the employee preferred, because he had lied on his resume and couldn’t operate the one the employer had.

      A girl sued for ”constructive dismissal” claiming the employer forced her out with unfair work demands. The employer had objected to her being late every day, taking 2 hour lunch breaks, and spending hours on her mobile phone daily talking to friends.

      Another man sued for ”constructive dismissal” after the employer issued a written warning because he kept taking the phone out of his team leader’s room and using it for extended private calls.

      Probably the best of all, a man sued for ”constructive dismissal” after he was cautioned for lying about his boss in a report to Child Services. This man was asked to collect his sick child from childcare urgently, but chose to stay and gossip to a workmate for an hour before leaving. He then told Child Services the boss had put his child’s life in danger by not passing on the Child Care Centre’s message!

      These law suits cost countless thousands to defend, destroy workplace morale, and consume an inestimable amount of time and energy of senior staff, even if the employer wins hands down. The worker doesn’t have to compensate the employer no matter what the finding.

      Trebor, some employers are unconscionable. I’ve worked for some who should be jailed for their abuse. But equally, a lot of employees are disgusting and seem to think they have a right to sit yacking to friends on phones, munching snacks, and doing NOTHING to earn their pay, and then sue for ”unfair dismissal” if they are correctly cautioned according to law and then fairly dismissed.

      It cuts both ways.

      As for unions, some are great – but I’ve had horrid experiences with corrupt unions. Forced a strike that cost me two weeks’ wages and only benefited the higher-paid employees, then refused to support a complaint about illegal work practices that were putting lives in danger because the union rep ”was on a good wicket and didn’t want to rock the boat”. Took fees on December 24 and then declared the membership had expired on January 1.

      I know of a business that was closed down by the unions. When it re-opened, the same workers who had joined the union – in response to union pressure – happily went back to work in a ”no union” workplace and showed every union rep the door quickly when any tried to enter, saying the worst thing that ever happened to them was the union invading. They were well treated and very happy when the union wasn’t getting in the way.

      Unions are a good thing if their power is very strictly limited and they are forced to operate honestly and conscionably. Sadly, many are run by corrupt leaders and they have done some hideous harm both to the economy and to workers they are supposed to be representing.

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      Unions and managers are a great thing as long as their powers are curtailed, and they are forced to operate openly and honestly.

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      Some interesting reading. Apparently what is lost is that we are a civilised society and tearing the heart out of citizens who are not coping seems to be collateral damage. What has happened to the Australia I grew up in where everyone had a fair go at life? Now it is all about the rich owning everything and paying a very low percentage of tax if indeed any at all.
      More appropriate is to leave company taxes at the low rate they are at and put up barriers to negate the attacks from overseas orchestrated by other wealthy citizens trying to create a worldwide web of zero taxed citizens. The rich. The poor will then be expected to make up the shortfall. Sick when you think of it. I say SHAME to those of you on this website who subscribe to this line of reasoning. IT IS UNAUSTRALIAN.

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      TREBOR: So are businesses and their government puppets as long as the same rules apply to them. They don’t and never will. You should know that by now.

    • 0
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      MICK the logical conclusion of a small number of very wealthy receiving all the productivity gains and the bottom 50% giving up income increases to accomodate this wealth inequality has always been a Depression or War.

      The data and graphs don’t lie. We have had our income growth cut since around the mid 70s in real terms but some of us have managed to save through careful choices of spending and because we were lucky to buy or build houses early before the huge growth in asset values.

      Those with no assets suffer the most from excessive debt levels and very low interest rates for too long.

      If interest rates correct the game is over. There is absolutely no safety in money in the banks or in bank shares. Possibly the most dangerous place to have investments since that Bail In Legislation we aren’t talking about was passed in February.

      No crying about it if the banks fail as blind Freddy can see the risks developing with 3 trillion dollars of debt and stagnant or falling incomes.

  3. 0
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    What a lot of rubbish. Company tax will only benefit big business and it will do nothing to promote jobs. The banks are cutting 2000 jobs – what does that tell you? Where will the government get their revenue if company tax is cut? Certainly not from big business. They will again make ordinary workers pay more taxes and increase the price of services whilst cutting services received. Wake up!

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      Banks are cutting jobs and selling their finance businesses because it is no longer profitable for them to keep them.

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      OG what happened did some of the dead people complain about the service charges?

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      Totally agree. This is your Liberal Govt. Selling off our Australia to Paying huge amounts in foreign aid to countries who will kill us. And the UN this is a lot of BS. We need to cut off the UN altogether.
      Stop selling what is left to overseas and stop all foreign aid until our country is sorted. Homelessness, Pensions.
      Company tax cuts for big business will not help anyone but the company. No employment. After hearing all the things the royal commission have been doing that Liberals did not want and now Turnbull apologises he got it wrong. Too late too little.

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      Wrong again, OG – banks are FRANCHISING out their financial advisory business in the hope that somehow that means they wil ‘scape the lash – I say ensure that like any other franchisor they retain a portion of direct responsibility for the wrongful behaviour of franchisees, just like 7/11 and such.

      I love it when the filthy wool coat pulled over the public eyes for so long begins to unravel, and more and more thieves are caught up in it and dragged down.

      Only the viable and honest businesses will survive, OG – just not the thieves.

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      Dead people have their accounts frozen if their executor does their job. So if the bank billed dead people the executor didn’t do their job. Banks don’t check to see if everyone is alive every day.

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      Trebor CBA is splitting off MLC in a public float not franchising it.

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      .. while still holding the majority shares.. thanks for coming.. that’s exactly the kind of business chicanery that is sending this nation to the wall…..

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      OG, are you watching the day to day evidence?
      The banks have knowingly been charging dead people!
      Also, the not for profit super funds have been suffering lies from the other super funds to try to discredit them.
      Things like this are coming out and mid level not top level heads are rolling!
      At least be fair in your comments. You show bias and prejudice in favour of the banks. If there is wrong doing then there is. If they are squeaky clean then this would clear them.

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      Banks can’t be held responsible if the dead’s persons executor failed to notify them that they were dead. If they had been notified then the dead person’s accounts would have been frozen. That is very bad reporting by the media who haven’t done their homework.

      Nothing stopping me telling the Royal commission that I instructed a bank to invest my money in safe investments but they invested it in high return investments instead. Over the years my investment was doing very well and I was very happy. However something went wrong and I lost a fair chunk of it. Gee I think to myself this can’t be my fault. I know if I blame the bank I wont feel so bad. Royal Commission comes along so I then put in a submission on how the bank did the wrong thing and fleeced me of my money. Truth is that I knew exactly where my money was invested but I saw the opportunity to get some of it back. That is what is really going on with this Royal Commission.

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      OG
      They have admitted doing it!

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      Of course they have. They have no other choice as these people have submitted their evidence under oath. If the bank didn’t own up then they would be accused of lying. Whole thing is just so wrong and will do the country and the economy lots of harm.

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      What convoluted (lack of) thinking – the banks own up because if they didn’t they’d be fairly called liars because of evidence given on oath, but they are still not responsible….

      what part of, “Yeah – we did that thing!”, do you NOT understand, OG?

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      Yes Priscilla. That is the game.
      The problem is the sheep may vote for slavery. I read it from a number of my wooley friends on this website on a daily basis. Frightening.

  4. 0
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    Company Tax cuts only assists big business to put more money in their pockets. It won’t create jobs as companies keep everything for themselves Max Jackwitz

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      Giving the large corporates a tax cut will not achieve extra jobs. Will not achieve extra income for low rank employees, nor middle management, nor those on fixed employment contracts. They will not invest in new equipment. There is no confidence in the prosperity of the Australian economy in the short term.
      Large public corporate companies are beholden to shareholders. They are all about increased productivity for less outlay. Company tax cuts achieves nothing more than a bit of an extra return to shareholders at the expense of the public purse.
      A recent survey of companies revealed that only 8% of corporates willing to spend on capitol expenditure and some wage increases to employees. 92% will not.

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      Result of tax cuts = bigger pay packets for CEOs and other top employees + bigger dividends for shareholders.

      Workers? Their status will the UNCHANGED apart from higher taxes to fund wealth transfer from poor to rich. It’s Class Warfare. Nothing else. Tell the troops BS and they’ll believe it! Many do.

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      Mick, I watched a fascinating expose on the result of corporate tax cuts in the UK. They made the UK a tax haven, but 80% of the population gained NOTHING. Wages did NOT increase. Unemployment DID NOT REDUCE. There were no tax cuts for the general population. Productivity and the GDP actually FELL marginally. But journalists interviewed CEOs and company directors who boasted that they had used the tax bonus to fly to Europe and buy $100,000 watches and $1 million cars. They were completely unapologetic, laughing and saying they couldn’t believe anyone would be stupid enough to think they would hire more people or pay higher wages, or even invest more. They said ”we pay as little as we can get away with. We hire as many as we need and not one more. And we invest only when investment offers strong promise of higher profits. The market didn’t justify more investment. We couldn’t sell any more because WE enjoyed tax cuts. You’d actually need to improve the net income of consumers to drive investment or more jobs. Nobody in government wants to do that!”

      Interestingly, Many Australian CEOs were also quick to admit that they had no intention of increasing wages or hiring more people, and only a handful indicated intention to invest if taxes were cut. And we’ve seen the result of record profit growth! It has NOT flowed to any improvement for the average Australian.

      In the US, I saw the devastation that resulted from corporate tax cuts. The growing poverty there is horrendous. We see statistics that look good, but what we aren’t told is that those statistics reflect the improvement in the position of the upper class and very high middle class. The average and lower middle class are now at the level the middle working class used to be, and the working class are virtually slaves – or trying to survive on food stamps and begging in the streets. What was really disturbing was seeing the farms that have gone to rack and ruin because the farmers can’t afford to maintain them anymore. They are just walking away to beg on street corners or slave in restaurants hoping for decent tips.

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    So we can’t afford fair taxation for self-funded retirees, but we can triple the pension? Pensioners must be the new elite, it seems? Stuff anyone who worked and saved and is contributing tens of thousands to the budget annually by NOT drawing a pension. Take their savings off them, but triple the handouts to those living off the taxpayer.

    Fair go! I used champion the pensioners’ cause, but after the disgusting selfishness and abuse I’ve seen on seniors’ forums lately, they can go to hell.

    But NO, company tax should NOT be cut. And yes, bank shareholders SHOULD be compensated for their losses.

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      If they increased the pension they would have to support self funded retirees. So I would expect both groups would win. How that would be done would be the question.

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      But Shorten says we can’t afford a few thousand dollars in tax refunds to self-funded retirees who were overtaxed, and whose self-sufficiency is saving the nation millions. So how the hell are we going to afford pension increases? That makes no sense at all. Thing is though, the greedy ”entitled” pensioners don’t care. They think money grows on trees and it’s ”unfair” that their tree doesn’t bear as much as their neighbour’s.

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      Never fear OGR- when such a thing comes in, you’ll get your top-up.

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      No, Trebor. Nobody CAN get more while we have a debt and deficit problem and screams for tax cuts. The ONLY way to give anybody more is to FIX THE PROBLEMS. And that means rewarding people for working and saving and NOT making the pension so attractive that everybody wants to be a pensioner in retirement. I’m not saying the pension should be reduced, but is self-funded retirees aren’t ALWAYS substantially better off than pensioners, we will have too much load on the pension system, and eventually it will collapse under the weight. That ought to be common sense, but greed and selfishness kills brain cells.

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      If we have a debt and deficit problem that is crying for more taxes not less… austerity for all, you see.

      If this ‘debt’ includes the ‘debts’ held by offshore companies that do not even pay tax here – it is not part of OUR problem.

      Nobody said SFRs were substantially better off – some are, some are not, and the issues are too big for this simple discussion – this discussion is about the pension….

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      Actually, Trebor, 95% of pensioners DO say SFRs are better off and demand they be persecuted and robbed.

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      Obviously they are wrong about the numbers…. some I’m certain are better off, but many seem to be taking it on the chin.

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      That’s why a universal pension is a must, Genuine. A basic pension for everyone and folk who have saved through their working life would have a bit of extra money for luxuries.

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      OGR, I don’t demand that SFRs be perscured and robbed. I think Labor’s proposal on Franking Credits is bad policy. I admire you keeping the pressure up, but get some perspective. they aren’t even in power. What I do object to is your continued assertions that most people who receive a full or part pension were spendthrifts and bludgers! Most people worked hard but without good super schemes it was all they could do to pay off their home. I know, you went without Yadda, yadda. Your choice, and it’s made you bitter. I took my children on holidays, educated them, they had extra curricular activities, we had a comfortable home, nice clothes, went out and enjoyed ourselves. We paid for the lot! In retirement, we get a small part pension. It is the right of every Australian. When you continually stray off topic and insult us all, trust me no one cares!

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      Well, thank you Sunday, and yes, you are very fair and courteous. Unfortunately, you are NOT typical of pensioners. Sorry if I offend. I don’t really think pensioners are spendthrifts or bludgers. I’ve actually championed their cause extensively. But I’m angry and hurt by their appalling selfishness and nastiness in recent discussions – mostly about franking credit policies. They should be supporting demands for fairness for everyone, but instead they are ranting about somebody being rich and it being ”too funny” that some people will suffer unfairness and have their lifestyle demolished.

      Yes, my lifestyle was my choice. But it seems others are entitled to make their choice, but those who made the choice I made are not entitled to enjoy a decent lifestyle for having done so. That’s what makes me angry.

      Pensioners owe SFRs support in their demands for fairness. SFRs are contributing significantly to the nation’s budget, and that’s helping make pensions affordable. The least pensioners can do is show some appreciation and respect and support demands that SFRs also be dealt with fairly and allowed to enjoy the lifestyle they worked so hard to attain.

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      The issue is the assets test. That knocks out many and this lot were fair dinkum they’d make the assets test sensible and cut out all the schemes of arrangement whereby the rich can get around paying tax, including wealthy retired folk you have paid professions to nobble the system.
      The real culprit is wealthy people controlling the game and the system they have set up……..FOR THEMSELVES.

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      If they triple the pension and do nothing for Superannuation there won’t be any savings other than the compulsory 9.5% and that will have to be legislated as an annuity or everyone will spend it all to get the pension.

      This is dreaming. We’ll be lucky to be able to afford public welfare at all the way the economy is looking and the fact that most of any profits are being taken overseas as we no longer own much of anything.

      Our balance of payments account is appalling.

      The asset and income tests were a waste of time and only hurt the innocent savers. It helped the budget by a few billion though. The Government is desperate for money and hates the idea that all those sales of everything didn’t pan out so well. They had hoped to be gone before the collapse leaving the other Party to face the storm.

      The really rich do not invest in Superannuation or pay tax. They don’t earn income like we do. It’s all cashflow and capital gains and the corporation paying for everything.

      All this nastiness of asset and income test changes hurt the average nurse or police officer, small business owner or average worker forced or convinced to save for their own retirement.

      You cannot trust a banker or a politician. We know that already yet still listen to them. Stupid is as stupid does.

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      The issue is that the power-brokers are both too stupid and too self-serving to even consider innovative solutions that would genuinely address the problems. In what universe is it intelligent to just say ”oh, that happened decades ago – let’s reverse it”? Both LNP and Labor are demonstrating gross incompetence. No consideration for changes in environment or economic conditions. No consideration for why that happened decades ago and what benefit it yielded. Just reverse it, because dim-witted morons can’t THINK.

      Yes, the assets test is stupid and destructive and should never have been introduced. But we unfortunately can’t find anyone, among these wonderful ”I’m worth millions” egomaniacal politicians and advisers who has enough brains to come up with anything better.

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    Get real. The banks have been ripping people off for a long, long time. If you asked a friend to lend you $100 and they said yes, but you will have to pay me back $118, how long would that friendship last. ie. Credit cards!!!!! Loan fees. Bollocks. We pay banks so we can pay back a huge amount of money in interest and then they charge us for the privelege?? And remember the low rates have only been here for a fairly short period.
    Try and get a mortagage and it’s one bullshit cost after another. I haven’t had one for over thirty years but I see the rip offs and injustice from younger friends and family.
    The Royal Commission is showing the flaws and illegal processes the banks use to rip people off. And the Liberals were dragged kicking and screaming to hold an enquiry. Surely, that tells you something. As for risk, most of these people went for advice as to where to invest their money, not borrow it. That scenario is yet to play out.
    OG you are a sad, sad man.
    While I’m at it, insurance companies are almost as bad. Why do you pay a large amount of money to insure your possessions and if something happens half the claim is taken up by the excess you have to pay. Another made up fee that is bullshit.
    Company tax, another smoke and mirrors stunt. It will not benefit anyone except corporate wages and shareholders. The working man will not see the flow on and that has been proved all over the world.

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      Not too sure what planet you are living on Snowflake but banks and insurance companies have been my best friend. Had many loans with no fees, enjoy no fee banking and can still get a mortgage at my age. Credits cards are the best thing since sliced bread and I really enjoy my free flight once a year simply by using them. As I have shares in the bank I don’t pay any credit card fees and get free travel insurance.

      No I wouldn’t ask of even lend my best human friend money. Too much of a hassle getting it back even with zero interest.

      Far too many people have taken too much risk and lost and now want to blame the banks for their own greed.

      Company tax belongs to the shareholders and under our current system many shareholders benefit enormously from the franking credits (tax) paid on their behalf.

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      OG you can’t be serious.

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      I acknowledge instances of misconduct by banks, but one of the whingers complained that she had been ”misled” to sell her house and start a self-managed super fund with promises of a $2 million loan to buy a bed and breakfast. This was someone who had a $500,000 home with a huge mortgage on it, and knew NOTHING about business. Honestly, how stupid can you be to think you could borrow $2 million? And why wouldn’t you consult an independent lawyer and accountant before starting an SMSF, rather than taking advice from someone who was going to benefit from selling you a whopping big loan?

      I do think banks should be banned from giving financial advice or even doing deals with advisers. But you will NEVER stop people acting on bad financial advice, and sadly we’ll never stop unconscionable people charging for bad advice. Happily, the bank employee who gave me bad advice – which thankfully I rejected – was dealt with very efficiently by our friend Karma. Yes, made millions by lying and cheating, but ended up a paraplegic at age 35. Sad, but if he’d been honest and decent maybe fate would have spared him.

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      Company tax is not dividend franking, OG…

      Do you now advocate that shareholders pay a share of company tax… that’s what it sounds like…?

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      Yes Tib I am serious and have nothing but admiration for the banks.

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      Go then and place all your cash with them… in absolute trust.

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      Own a heaps of their shares too.

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      Then you’ll be paying for their wrongdoings with a lower return, as is only meet.

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      No person of conscience listening to what is coming out from the Royal Commission could ever trust banks again. I hope the outcome sees hefty fines, and gaol time. OG and OGR, you two are totally out of touch!

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      It will all be forgotten quickly and it will be business as usual. Time to buy some shares in banks and AMP. Wish I had some spare cash.

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      Not out of control, Sundays. Just being objective and acknowledging that some of the so-called ”victims” really don’t have grounds to blame the banks. On the other hand, I have never trusted banks, and I’ve been shafted by them myself. I think they are unconscionable, and something has to be done about them. But sadly its innocent Australians paying the price. Then again, the envy brigade are delighted to see anyone they THINK might have more than them hurting.

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      Yesterday they had a case where a women said she would have list a lost of money if she had taken the advice given. Why was this even before the RC? I am beginning to see this as nothing better than a switch hunt covered by a media that has not done their homework.

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      Maybe she paid for that advice VCB, what is the point of paying for financial advice if you don’t use it?, not everyone has the time or knowledge to do their own financial planning that is what people pay Financial Advisors for but it seems that this lady was unfortunate enough to be given bad advice.

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    How many Companies Pay the top RATED TAX now.
    There are a lot who don’t pay taxes or minuscule amounts.
    My take on it is only chest beating and farting from their mouths.
    It will achieve nothing If you are paying below that amount now.
    [;-(0)

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      NONE!

      Only the little guys pay their taxes.

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      Yes, and now YOU are insisting the little guy who is saving the government tens of thousand a year in retirement should pay 30% tax for the companies, but ONLY if they are poor and NOT pensioners.

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      Yes, and now YOU are insisting the little guy who is saving the government tens of thousand a year in retirement should pay 30% tax for the companies, but ONLY if they are poor and NOT pensioners.

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      You have highlighted the growing game. First a few set up crooked offshore tax shelters. Now more and more are piling in. Even the PM has one. And strangely NOBODY is calling to make these fraudulent tax avoiding scams illegal. Why? Of course….because the rich own them and they benefit them.
      Fix the system and you can leave tax rates as they are. This lot won’t which is why we need to kick them out with a landslide vote.

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      Cancel all taxes, levies, rates etc and have a very small transaction tax globally. The UN have done the research and it is viable.

      Everyone pays 0.05% on every money transfer. The rich then would have to pay their fair share as we would all pay the same.

      Redistribution could then be sorted out to protect the less able.

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      My posted comment was about Company Tax as This Post is about, please when responding refer to whom your responding to as most of these responses are unrelated to my comment.
      Personal tax would be another issue which has moral and ethical element which politicians seem to lack at the same time everyone else has be perfect in.
      [:(

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    Yes, self funded retirees do get a bad break. My friend is one. He has recently finished building his $2.000.000 house. Then he went to Europe for 10 weeks with his wife and came back and bought two new cars and he still complains he doesn’t get a health care card. In fairness he worked hard and did a little bit of property investing and has done very well and good on him but when he tells me he earns about $80.000 a year just from super and investments somehow I just can’t feel sorry for him.

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      And you are dumb enough to think EVERY self-funded retiree is in his category, Snowflake. No wonder the world is so messed up, when elitist judgmental nasties make these idiotic assumptions.

      MOST self-funded retirees live very frugally in order to save the taxpayer expense. Many have incomes of as little as $20,000 a year, or $34,000 for a couple – LESS than the aged pension.

      But you keep on with you selfish assumptions and bullying, and then wonder why taxpayers will strenuously oppose increases to pensions for mean nasty folk who live on handouts and have no appreciation or respect for others.

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      Snowflake you really have no idea at all.

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      A lot of folks make money with property, as long as you live in your expensive house there are no taxes when you sell at a much higher price. Shorten now makes that even worse by punishing the people with company shares. SMSF owners now will get rid of the shares and push property prices even higher. Well done Bill!

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      I agree money will flow out of shares into property or worse still overseas as without franking credits overseas shares look attractive.

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      I’m self funded and no I don’t have a 2 million dollar house. Your comment is just ridiculous.

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      This selfishness is wrecking the country. It’s time to take pensions away from those who carry on this way until they learn some gratitude and respect.

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      Steady on the OGs – Snowflake never said any of that – now settle down.

      Money flowed into shares when the tax rate was higher… and cutting down on property rorts will change the focus back to meaningful investment.

      All the property investors will get is over-stretched and even more vulnerable since there will be no solid underpinning to the economy, with investment in productive areas.

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      Some self funded retirees are asset rich but income poor. Sell the assets and live off the capital? A possibility but then those folk draw a pension and everybody else needs to pay more tax. Not as easy as it seems.
      I agree that anybody who earns around $80,000 pa in retirement may be in a different basket though. As for a health care card please note some countries cover their citizens for health care unlike AUstralia where politicians lie to us all and you cannot get immediate treatment for serious conditions. In countries like GB, Italy, Germany, Canada you can.

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      Live of the capital ignores the fact that many retirees worked and saved specifically for designated purposes, and it’s patently unfair to deny them the right to use their savings for what they saved for while those who chose to spend are paid a pension. Why should the person who opted for expensive holidays and restaurant dinners get a pension while the person who saved for a special holiday at age 75, or to have household help and a mowing service from age 75 onward has to live off their capital and forfeit the benefit they saved for? What if someone saved to leave assets to their children or grandchildren? Why shouldn’t they be allowed to do that, when those who chose to spend on themselves instead get a pension.

      The system is patently unfair, and by being unfair, it discourages saving and therefore increases the burden on the taxpayer. Tightening the assets test only increases the cost of pensions by making saving futile.

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      OGR system is very unfair. How is it possible that I now have more income on the full OAP plus my investment income than someone with $2.5 million invested? My wealth is being stored in my house and in the houses of my grandkids. All it takes is a bit of planning and knowledge of how it all works.

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      Yes, VCB, it IS very unfair. And the unfairness is making it expensive and inefficient. The problem with planning is that you need the knowledge five years before reaching pension age. Unfortunately, I was too honest and ethical and didn’t think about manipulating until very recently. I guess I had too much confidence in the integrity of our leaders – who, on both sides, have proved themselves to be inept, dishonest, and totally unconcerned with the national good.

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    The government should leave company tax where it is and start making them all actually pay some tax. Most pay either no tax or much less than the 30% they should be.
    As to the banks, it is their greedy shareholders who turned a blind eye to their rip-off practices and who should be feeling ashamed of themselves. Of course they will not as they will claim they didn’t know, but at least they will take a hit by falling share prices and lower future dividends.

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      What a disgustingly selfish post, Dave R. You should be ashamed of yourself. How are minor shareholders to know about, much less control, the conduct of a huge corporation. And to wish loss on people – many of whom are struggling to sustain a livelihood WITHOUT imposing on the taxpayer purse – is just VILE. No doubt you are happy to bludge on handouts from the taxpaying children of those you are wanting to suffer hurt? You sound like the disgraceful elitist pensioners who think they are the only people alive and are entitled to everything, while the rest of society should starve.

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      Dave R you are an awesome example of what is wrong with this country. You can’t see past your own welfare mentality.

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      I will take that as a compliment since it comes from extreme right wing Liberal Party trolls, not genuine people.

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      No, Dave R. I’m NOT even an LNP voter. I HATE the LNP and oppose their policies strenuously. But you ARE an awesome example of what’s wrong with this country. And if you are OG’s comment as a compliment, then you really are the PROBLEM IN THIS COUNTRY. And God help us all if there are others with that welfare mentality. You are destroying the nation.

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      Simple enough then – cancel franking and get everyone to pay their own taxes in full.

      No more arguments…. you pay on what you get without all this quibbling.

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      If you cancel franking, everybody who invests in Australian shares is double-taxed. There is NOTHING wrong with the existing system. It is fair and equitable, compliant with tax law overall, consistent with all other taxation methods, and FAIR TO ALL. Leave it alone. It’s right. It’s good for the nation.

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      No – they’re not, Rainey. The company pays its tax and the shareholder pays tax on gross income…. no change at all.

      Without franked credits, all that is required of the shareholder is to declare total income plus deductions for a tax return to be complete, and without all the arguing that somehow regardless of gross income – the shareholders should all receive that 30% back every time – meaning that if Bill FAtz gets $1m back in franking credits – he should not be paying any tax on that income, and the company has already not paid tax on it, but instead lodged it with the ATO for safekeeping until tax time when it should be added to gross income.

      I’ve done the figures on income tax for you, and shown you that you, with your figures given, would not pay one cent more – but the way you and others continue to read this – you are happy for Bill Fatz to continue to pay no tax on income.

      Companies do not pay tax on franked dividends, and that franked credit lodge with the ATO is for safekeeping – not tax paid. – and is still required to be accounted for at year’s end as income.

      You can’t get both dividend and franked dividend on the same shares without paying some tax.

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      Trebor go back tot he drawing board and find out how franking credits work as you obviously don’t know.

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      OG is right, Trebor. You’ve got it totally wrong. You clearly don’t understand the system at all. It’s perfectly fair, correct and workable as it is. The company pays tax based on the assumption that ALL shareholders are liable to pay 30% tax. If the shareholder is not liable for tax, they get it back – as they should. If they ARE liable to tax, the ATO retains the 30%. as they should, and if the shareholder’s marginal tax rate is MORE than 30%, the ATO bills them for more, as it should. The ONLY problem is that IDIOT Shorten insists people who shouldn’t have to pay tax must be taxed unfairly at 30% if they wish to invest in Australian shares – UNLESS they are pensioners. Tell Shorten to shove his stupidity where the sun doesn’t shine and all will continue to be fine. If he wants more revenue, tell the IDIOT to attack people who can afford to pay – not struggling SFRs who are doing the nation a good turn by being self-funded. Tell the dope that $10,000 tax refund is a lot cheaper for Treasury than $34,000 in pension. Short-on clearly can’t do the simplest and most basic math! Then, of course, he IS raiding the super funds of ordinary Australians AND pensioners, and lying about it.

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      Well – OG – if it doesn’t work that way – Shorten is correct to alter it, since it is tax paid in on behalf of the shareholder and is thus a part of shareholder income, same as PAYE.

      OGR – correct – if you don’t owe tax, then you get some or all back… based on your total income.

      Where am I wrong?

      If the idea is that the 30% should automatically come home to the shareholder without being included in taxable income – Shorten is 100% correct and that is outright theft.

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      If you do end up being taxed the entire 30% – you are getting a motza in dividends and must pay tax somehow. It’s not a free ride, you know.

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      If you’re a struggling SFR due to the changes in the Assets test, you have my upmost sympathy. You worked under the old rules and had the rug pulled out from under you. Likewise all those on Defined Benefits Schemes who were subject to unfair changes. It was annanounced and changed in the budget without warning. OGR you have at least 12 months potential notice. Plenty of time to change your investments. Stop being so rude, you’re lucky!

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      Sundays, the reason this nation is stuffed is because people just accept bad policy and figure out ways to avoid being too badly hurt by it. My concern isn’t for me. It’s for the nation. Shorten is reinforcing a clear message already sent by the LNP changing the assets test: that it doesn’t pay to save for retirement. That is going to stuff the country and ultimately pensioners will suffer.

      What I want to see is EVERYONE UNITING to demand better of our government and the Opposition. It’s not a matter of rearranging personal affairs. It’s a matter of everyone joining to stand up to the powers that be.

      And it’s Trebor being rude. I’ve made it clear already that his wild ASSUMPTION that I must be getting a motza in dividends is WRONG.

      Pensioners need to STOP making assumptions and pay attention to the FACTS. Shorten is crippling SFRs with an unfair tax on LOW INCOMES. He is NOT taking ANYTHING from the WEALTHY.

      It’s time for pensioners to stop being blinded by envy and hatred for the SFRs and unite to demand policies that are good for the country.

      BTW. I already have a plan to protect my lifestyle. I’m going on the pension. I’ll become one of the favoured elite, and I WILL be ripping off the nation because I could be self-funded – but only if taxed fairly. Shorten is going to drive the debt through the roof by driving hundreds of thousands to make the same choice.

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      Dave: I am one of those “greedy” bank shareholders. Made my voice heard though. Written to the media but they do not publish (surprise surprise). Written to the company I own shares in but get public relations BS back.
      Please do not tar me with the same brush mate. We earn little more than the pension and get nil from the government of the day and I find it offensive that governments have no appreciation for the fact that self funded retirees ARE NOT A BURDEN to society. Corporates are. Tax cuts need to come to where they can help rather than creating obscene lifestyles for the very very few.

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    To compare the times of the 50s with today is really impossible. We had a fixed exchange rate for all currencies, we had lots of tariffs and you needed permission to send money overseas. I had to see the reserve bank once a month filling in forms to repay a loan I stupidly took out from abroad. If we have company taxes at 30%, Europe 19%, Singapore at 15% and Ireland as low as 12% how can we be competitive? We lost the car industry and I bought the last Australia-made Color TV in 1983. Worked all the way to 2010. The future lies in lower taxation and less freebies for non-productive people. Not nice but true.

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      Agree if our company tax was 15% we would get twice if not more revenue from out companies.

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      Cowboy Jim, it’s our wages that make us uncompetitive – not taxes. Our tax rate is NOT actually 30%. That’s a nominal rate, by if you compare our tax system with other countries, our actual company tax rate is much lower than nearly every other developed nation. They have all kinds of extra loadings and levies that they don’t count in their tax rate but that we include in ours.

      We can’t afford lower tax. There isn’t enough tax paid now – as evidenced by the budget deficit. Somebody has to pay the ferryman. Either we scrap services and let poor people suffer sickness and lack of education and poverty for sick and disabled and old people, or we tax people who can afford to pay. The problem is that they are NOT paying. They are avoiding and evading at every turn.

      Our wages DO make us uncompetitive, but how do we deal with that? A businessman once told me we should cut wages to 1/3rd so he could compete better. Then wage-earners would be living in cardboard boxes and starving, as happens in third world countries. Is that really a solution?

      I don’t know what the answer is, but it certainly is NOT cutting taxes. Personally, I think it’s raising taxes at the top end and increasing the net incomes of the poorest so that we generate more spending to drive growth. But one thing we MUST do is to STOP this needs-based welfare and entitlement syndrome and start making sure people who contribute to the economy, but are NOT well-off, enjoy their fair rewards.

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      OGR, OGR, OGR – wages are struggling to keep up with the costs of living – the costs of living are what makes things difficult and the nation ‘non-competitive’.

      Freeze cost of living rises in REAL terms, cancel all privatisation that has sky-rocketed costs for basic, and then we can begin to discuss wages.

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      Great line for a laugh there, OG….

      Please explain exactly how ‘we’ will get far greater revenue out of companies by charging them 15% tax instead of 30%.

      I know – I know – you’ll mumble that they won’t spend all that money on high-priced fleecers doing their tax, and that it will cost less to just pay – in which case you are dreaming.

      Businesses feel they should pay zero tax, and that’s all there is to it.

      They need a minimum tax – maybe on turnover as was suggested, and I know you’ll scream about that idea…. if they are paying a dividend year after year but no tax – they are earning and must pay, so it’s time for some deeming rules to come into play.

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      Trebor, I was NOT proposing cutting wages. I’m simply saying it’s paying close to decent wages that is making us uncompetitive – NOT our tax rate. The last thing I want to see is wages reduced.

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      If wages were cut, all the markets would falter anyway…. it’s a symbiotic arrangement and all markets need feeding.

      Freeze costs and then we’ll talk wages.

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      Jim: you have highlighted the problem, better known as a race to the bottom…orchestrated by wealthy interests worldwide. Being the lowest taxing nation is only a guarantee of slavery for every other nation.

      OG: shame on you mate. No tax might be in YOUR interests but they not in the interests of working Australians or our country. Only the rich win in this game. So who are you??????

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