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Tuesday, 19 February 2019
Page: 13904

Dividend Imputation


Mr CRAIG KELLY (Hughes) (14:41): My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer update the House on how the government is backing older Australians who have followed the rules and made provisions for their retirement? How would a change to the current system impact these retirees?

Mr Frydenberg: I don't think the microphone was on. It was hard to hear.

The SPEAKER: I don't think the microphone was on.

Mr CRAIG KELLY: I did ask my question to the Treasurer, but the microphone was not on at the time.

The SPEAKER: Did the Treasurer hear it? Tell you what, let's just do it again and start it again. Without being rude, I can always hear the member for Hughes without a microphone! But for those who can't, we will put it on.

Mr CRAIG KELLY: My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer update the House on how the government is backing older Australians who have followed the rules and made provisions for their retirement? How would a change to the current system impact these retirees?







Mr FRYDENBERG (KooyongThe Treasurer) (14:42): I want to thank the member for Hughes for his question and I want to congratulate him for the outstanding role he has done on the parliamentary inquiry. Like the member for Mackellar, like the member for Goldstein and the member for Brisbane, the member for Hughes is giving a voice to over one million Australians. These are people who feel that the Labor Party is coming after their hard-earned savings, and they know it. There are people like Margaret, a 77-year-old widow. This is what she told the parliamentary inquiry:

I am a 77 year old widow who has worked hard all my life in order to be financially independent and not a burden on the taxpayer or government. I also believe that there are people less fortunate who deserve the pension offered.

Currently I derive my income from superannuation and share dividends. Should Labor win the next federal election and implement this policy it will have a considerable impact on my retirement income.

I rely heavily on my imputation credits to supplement my allocated super pension. With the changes being foreshadowed I will lose approximately $6000.00 annually. Currently this amount allows me to contribute among other things, to my private health insurance which I will have to cancel thus becoming a burden on the public health system. Since my income in total keeps me only slightly above the asset test ultimately the policy has the potential of forcing me on to the pension system.

These are real-life stories of people that the Labor Party are coming after, people that the Leader of the Opposition describes as getting welfare for the wealthy. This is not welfare and these people are not wealthy. But last night on 7.30the member for McMahon that he would arrogantly dismiss their concerns and, if they didn't like the policy, they could vote against Labor. The member for McMahon told the Australian people that the Labor Party wouldn't change their policy at all.

Only one side of politics is going to stand with the million-plus Australian retirees, individuals with self-managed super funds, who are hurt by this policy, and only one side of politics, the Labor Party, is coming after their hard-earned savings.