Changes to hurt retirees
THE Labor Party will target more than one million Australian taxpayers who own shares in a $59 billion revenue push that would take its heaviest toll on retirees, but is it only the rich he snares in this tax grab?
Most workers have incomes that are high enough to ensure they still pay tax after the dividend credits are counted.
But when the individual has little or no income other than dividends, he or she ends up being owed money by Australian Tax Office, so receiving a cash refund for these imputation credits.
This now forms a very important part of many retirees’ total income package enabling them to keep off government age pension.
Labor has revealed plans to help balance the budget by cancelling cash refunds for dividend imputations for lower income taxpayers.
This policy is aimed at raising $5.6 billion in 2020 and a similar amount every year, costing every taxpayer affected equivalent to about $4800 on average each year.
This would hit some 1.17 million individuals and superannuation funds – including 200,000 self-managed super funds.
While promising to continue with dividend imputation generally this plan would change the rules for those whose taxable income is so low they qualify for cash refunds.
This action may save the budget $11.4 billion over the final two years of the current forward estimates, but it may well push more retirees onto the age pension as a direct outcome of this proposal.
Since Labor’s policy was announced, Australians In Retirement (AIR) representatives have spoken to the Assistant Finance Minister, staff in the Prime Minister’s office and media outlets across Australia raising concerns.
This policy will have very serious, profound implications and long term impacts on the income needed to sustain retirees’ independent living over a possible 25 to 35 years in retirement.
This very significant loss will be compounded even more if retirees need to draw down more from their capital to maintain their retirement income.
This capital reduction would then result in less income returns and a cycle of further capital reduction and further reduced income.
Rather than increasing net tax revenue from retirees, AIR recommends that members of Federal Parliament stop the ongoing changes to superannuation and retirement savings policy and adopt a broader approach to tax reform by addressing issues such as, the cash economy, income tax deductions and the use of international tax havens.
Rick Walker, chairman, Wimmera Chapter of Australians In Retirement
Duck shooting debate
THE National Party’s Peter Walsh has a short memory (Wimmera Mail-Times letters to the editor, March 16, 2018).
He was the responsible minister when the scandalous Box Flat duck massacre took place near Boort in his own electorate in 2013.
More than 100 hundred shooters were present but no one was held accountable.
Walsh then set up the Game Management Authority, just as a similar body in NSW was disbanded due to inherent conflicts of interest – both promoting and regulating hunting.
Now a recent independent review of GMA has found it “too comfortable” with shooting organisations, and failing to enforce the law.
In 2012, Labor sided with the Coalition to pass new pro-hunting legislation in Victoria.
But in the major states – New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia – duck shooting has been banned because the community considers the wounding and cruelty unacceptable in today’s world.
Marie Wilkinson, Wattle Park
Wimmera wind farms
THE climate change dialogue is multi-faceted.
I will address myself to only one dialogue from Leigh Ewbank’s letter (Wimmera Mail-Times, March 21).
Mr Ewbank wrote in his letter that: “The Murra Warra wind farm will cut 1.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year.”
Surely this figure is speculation or exaggeration in the mould of all attempts to sell a project.
Maybe it includes the emissions that the prematurely contrived closure of the Hazelwood power station would have emitted.
Does it accommodate the reduction in emissions that will occur if Friends of the Earth, of which Leigh Ewbank is obviously an activist, succeed in closing a few more affordable coal fired generators?
Carbon dioxide is the building block of all the trees that grow around you.
Note that planting more trees is one of the programs promoted to reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
What happened to the trees that were planted up to 20 years ago around Beaufort, Clunes and other areas as a tax dodge?
They have been bulldozed and burnt as an inefficient use of good pasture land.
What is more, that pasture would be eating up carbon dioxide in the same way but possibly a lesser degree as the trees.
Furthermore all the crops that grow around the Wimmera are also carbon dioxide sinks and respond with record yields.
Ron Fischer, Horsham