Labor under fire over plan to cut tax refund for retirees
BILL Shorten's plan to abolish imputation credit refunds (C-M, Mar 13) has put him and his party on a war footing with many part-pensioners and self-funded retirees.
I can understand his rationale, but most self-funded retirees aren't rich.
We all just get by, and eliminating our dividend franking credit refunds will push many self-funded retirees on to the pension. Consequently, in many ways, it's a self-defeating policy.
For every retiree who has a large share portfolio this policy will mean a reduction of up to 30 per cent in their annual income, and that's a massive hit to anyone's pocket.
And, importantly, retirees don't have the opportunity or desire to rejoin the workforce and try to make up for their loss, even if the jobs were available.
A better idea would be to have the policy capped above $50,000. This would allow struggling retirees to still receive their payment and maintain an adequate lifestyle.
It's good that the ALP recognises the Budget deficit needs to be controlled, but Shorten's policy is poorly thought out and will damage the lives of many people.
There are much better ways of reducing the deficit and he should explore those options before he picks on vulnerable retirees.
Jeffrey Sheppard, Lutwyche
MY WIFE and I are retired teachers who have a comfortable financial lifestyle.
We are not multi-millionaires, far from it.
Each year we receive the benefits of cash refunds via imputation credits. These cash refunds amount to a few thousand dollars.
All dividends are declared for income tax purposes and the companies in which we have invested also pay the appropriate levels of tax.
If Bill Shorten introduces his scheme we will be deprived of what we consider to be a legitimate refund of taxes paid.
Our assets cannot be, nor should they be, rearranged to avoid Shorten's solution to his budgetary woes.
Hopefully some level of sanity will return so that many self-funded retirees will not be discriminated against.
K.J. Falvey, Albany Creek
LET us talk about "fair".
I am a self-funded retiree. I made my retirement decision based on the rules set down by successive governments.
That decision took into account the balance of my super fund, the rules surrounding superannuation and the consequential probable earnings based on those rules and that balance.
I am now locked into a set of financial circumstances that I cannot change. Changing the goalposts now is not fair.
Am I one of those people Labor thinks of as super wealthy? No, I have worked all my life and contributed significant funds into my super so that my wife and I would be self-sufficient in retirement.
Over my working life, I never sought to avoid tax and probably contributed more than the average salary earner.
Had I been a spendthrift, or spent my life working in the welfare system, I would now have no assets and minimal superannuation and would therefore fall into that category of voters that Labor sees as needing further assistance.
I have been a union member and Labor voter all my life, but if Bill Shorten persists with this policy I will not vote Labor at the next election. This policy is anything but "fair".
Chris Turnbull, Kedron
LABOR'S policy to reverse the outrageous generosity of the Howard government's policy of 2001 that allows imputation credits for cash to people who have arranged their affairs to have no tax liability should be applauded.
That some people cannot just arrange their incomes to be tax-free, but also get paid a refund from the tax pool paid by everyone else would be one of the biggest scams ever perpetrated on Australians who pay their way.
The reality is that the LNP has always delivered for the wealthy elite and the ALP has struggled for the workers and the underprivileged.
In the past couple of decades the elite from the LNP have been winning the class war hands down.
It's pleasing to see the ALP fighting back, even if it is in such a small way with the predicted political risk taken into account.
Max Tanzer, Elliott Heads
TRUMP FIRES AGAIN
KARL Richter (Letters, Mar 14) sees US President Donald Trump as some sort of messiah draining the swamp, but Trump's presidency is far murkier.
He has unprofessionally sacked secretary of state Rex Tillerson by tweet, without telling him first.
Barack Obama, as president, put the US on the road to recovery, even against strong opposition from the Republicans.
Erratic Trump has set up an unstable tin-pot regime that must flounder in time as the fish rots from the head down.
Tony Grigsby, Southport
THE news that President Donald Trump has terminated secretary of state Rex Tillerson before his term expires is not a surprise.
Tillerson's replacement is CIA boss Mike Pompeo.
With the latest negotiations with North Korea supposed to be happening, a professional spy may be handy.
Successive North Korean governments have played the West for fools when it comes to nuclear disarmament negotiations.
The new US secretary of state, with his intelligence background, is better placed than a career diplomat to know if the latest North Korea overture is real or not.
Peter Pak, Rochedale South
IT SEEMS that if you disagree with anything President Trump says you hear the words "You're fired" - not face to face, but on Twitter.
What an insult.
Then again, Trump is an insult to thinking adults, like his secretary of state, who to be fair, must have been thinking, "I'm not a celebrity, but get me out of here!"
Cherie Alexander, Runcorn
GREENS' ELECTRIC CAR POLICY FAILS TO GENERATE SUPPORT
THE Greens' latest proposal to ban petrol and diesel vehicles in Australia by 2030 (C-M, Mar 13) again proves they are nothing more than a niche political party favoured by inner-city hippies.
Electric vehicles may be suited to "urbanised" countries such as the UK and the hipster enclaves in our capital cities, but not in wider Australia.
My two-wheel-drive diesel ute will carry 1200kg in the tray, traverse half a metre of deep water and cover a little under 1000km on a tank of fuel. If I need greater range, a couple of drums of fuel can be safely carried in the back.
I am yet to see an electric vehicle that even comes close to having these characteristics.
As for emissions, if Australia banned all internal combustion engines it would make hardly any difference to global pollution levels.
I suggest that if the Greens don't have anything sensible to say, they should say nothing.
Tim Muddle, Enoggera
ANOTHER brain snap called "policy" from the Greens, suggesting that motorists should only be able to buy electric cars from 2030.
So let us assume it is 2030, and you and millions of Australians cannot afford to fork out for a new electric car.
Are these clowns going to take away your petrol/diesel car, your livelihood and independence? Will they send you to prison for driving your petrol/diesel car?
Even if they should succeed in their mad dream, and everyone drives an electric car, imagine the lines of cars waiting for their turn to take 15-30 minutes to top up/fill up the battery of their shiny new electric car.
John McQueen, Redbank
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