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Tuesday, 23 October 2018
Page: 10736


Mr RAMSEY (GreyGovernment Whip) (14:55): My question is to the Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care. Will the minister update the House on how the government is protecting retirees and low-income earners so they can earn more and live better? Is the minister aware of any alternative approach that would hurt self-reliant Australian retirees?

Mr WYATT (HasluckMinister for Senior Australians and Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health) (14:55): I thank the member for Grey for his ongoing interest in this area. When we were down at Eucla meeting with senior Australians, they raised a common issue. Their common issue was about what the opposition are planning to do to their retirement savings and their franking credits. What they wanted to know was how they save for their future if the opposition, when it comes to government, will take money from them and dip their hands into their pockets. We're protecting self-funded retirees and senior Australians by carefully planning the economy. By managing the economy we are building the capacity to provide services and support to Australians across a range of government services. People who have worked hard all their lives do not deserve to have their hard-earned funds ripped from their pockets. A vote for Labor is a vote for Labor's plan to raise taxes and raid retirement incomes.

Do not support Labor's policy to deny refundability of franking credits. Senior Australians say they have relied on those for some of the little things that happen during the year—the replacements, the refurbishments, the holidays. Is that what you want to take from them? That's what their living is based on. This will negatively impact on 900,000 Australians, including retirees and other low-income earners—people who have planned for their future after having worked a long life contributing to their needs for the future. Under Labor's unfair retiree tax 84 per cent of individuals on taxable incomes of less than $37,000 will be impacted—and 40 per cent of individuals impacted are 65 years or older. So you're wanting to hit those who are vulnerable, those whose planning and life has been based on their hard work and contribution.

In addition, 40 per cent of all self-managed superannuation fund members' accounts will lose their refunds. Labor's policies allow those on higher incomes to use up all of their franking credits but denies those on lower incomes the ability to do the same. Almost 60,000 self-funded Australian retirees who are not yet old enough to receive the age pension would be hit by Labor's retiree tax. The Leader of the Opposition wants to slug Australians with more than $150 billion in higher taxes. He wants to increase taxes on your pay packet, on your home, on your electricity, on small businesses and on your investment and savings that you have put away to look after yourself in older life.