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Thursday, 25 October 2018
Page: 11184

Dividend Imputation

Mr LEESER (Berowra) (14:39): My question is to the Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care. Will the minister update the House on how the government is helping retirees and pensioners earn more and live better? How would a reckless approach of denying retirees their dividend credits put the livelihoods of self-funded retirees at risk?

Mr WYATT (HasluckMinister for Senior Australians and Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health) (14:39): I thank the member for Berowra for his question and his ongoing interest in senior Australians. As a government we are carefully managing the economy. We are building the strength of the economy so that we are able to reinvest in programs and services for senior Australians, the aged-care sector and for society in general. By carefully managing the economy we are encouraging people to invest—to invest in blue-chip shares and to invest in a range of other opportunities, such as new houses—and realise a dividend for themselves, so that, when they retire, they have a source of income.

I want to read to you an extract from a letter from Mr Hemsworth, an RAAF veteran who is not eligible for a service pension. He was a tradesman who saved for his retirement but is set to lose more than 30 per cent of his income if these changes go ahead. Let me read what he said:

It really pains me and makes me extremely angry to have to write to a political party for the first time. I should not have to protect my family from federal politicians who blatantly want to steal 31% of my hard earned annual income and it makes me sick in the stomach that you blokes who have the best superannuation in the country, want to steal from my super without a second thought. My crime is to have been able to procure over many years, shares in Australian companies that earn taxes/income for the country and employ many thousands of Aussies. These dividends allow me and my partner to live comfortably without any input from the public purse, and very limited benefit from my one and only concession.

He then goes on to say:

If the excess franking refund is removed then we lose $28,000 in actual income—about 31% of our real income, and this would reduce our annual income down to about $62,000.

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: The minister will just pause for a second. The member for Shortland and the member for Deakin will leave under 94(a) and continue their conversation, if they wish, outside the chamber.

The member for Shortland and the member for Deakin then left the chamber.

Mr WYATT: Mr Hemsworth continues:

It is only the middle-income earners and retirees that are affected. Lets call them the aspirants—those that want to better their family circumstances and are willing to work hard, sacrifice personal spending, save & invest, take risks and wait for the many years it actually takes to build that modest nest-egg, that are affected.

I'm also surprised that a wanna-be Treasurer of this country does not understand the implications of his ill-informed decision—the examples that were given by you were a cherry-picked, bloated load of BS fodder for the informed—

That was a letter that Mr Hemsworth wrote to both the member for Maribyrnong and the member for McMahon. It is about protecting and ensuring their savings and investments are protected and that the franking dividends that Labor has—(Time expired)