Media Release - Liberals wasting time and taxpayer funds on sham hearing

The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government is wasting an opportunity to outline a plan for Australia’s economy or propose solutions to sustained, low wages growth, by instead using a parliamentary committee hearing today to attack Opposition policy.

With Josh Frydenberg more focused on foreign policy freelancing and fighting with Christopher Pyne, the Liberals are looking to the likes of Tim Wilson and Craig Kelly to campaign on behalf of the small number of Australians benefitting from a Howard-era dividend refund schemes. 

The House of Representatives Standing Committee today saw a line-up of representatives of vested interests arguing for the retention of the only fully-refundable imputation system in the world. Little to no evidence was provided to substantiate their arguments.

Labor is cracking down on this unsustainable tax loophole because it will soon cost the budget $8 billion a year, and mainly benefits millionaires who don’t pay income tax. Most working Australians do not receive cash refunds for excess franking credits.

Analysis from the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) shows that 92 per cent of taxpayers in Australia did not receive any cash refunds for excess imputation credits in their 2014-15 tax return, while the majority of refunds go to wealthier households.

Self Managed Super Funds (SMSFs) with a balance over $2.44 million claim nearly 53 per cent of all excess franking credits. SMSFs with a balance over $1 million claim 82 per cent of all excess franking credits.  

The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has had five years to develop a plan to help reform and grow our national economy.

Budgets are about choices – Labor has made the hard choice to stop spending $8 billion on tax refunds for people who don’t pay income tax, so we can pay for better schools and better hospitals for all Australians.

Only Labor is ready to deliver a fair go for all Australians.

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