Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Shorten aims at the big end of town and hits the little guy

Retirees with a small income who own a few shares will not get the tax refunds on their shares that they are entitled to.  I have an above-average income and I will still get every cent of the tax refund due to me.  Is that fair?

Labor will target more than 1 million Australian taxpayers who own shares in a $59 billion revenue push that would take its heaviest toll on retirees, as Bill Shorten wages war on “unfair” cash refunds and ramps up attacks on the rich.

In a bold move that hurts wealthier voters, the Opposition Leader will reveal plans to help balance the budget by cancelling cash refunds worth an average of $5000 a year to taxpayers who own shares and claim tax credits on their dividends.

The stunning decision takes aim at more affluent taxpayers in a “hit the rich” policy that is certain to spark a political fight over a group of voters still reeling from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s move to scale back superannuation tax breaks two years ago.

As Labor fights to hold the marginal seat of Batman against a threat from the Greens this weekend, Mr Shorten will blast the Coalition for creating a “loophole” in 2001 on the tax credits paid on dividends.

Mr Shorten opens the new fight over shareholder credits after his long row with Mr Turnbull over company tax cuts, where he has attacked the “big end of town” for not paying enough tax.

Labor is calculating the political pain from the bold new plan will be worthwhile when it uses the huge revenue gain to pay for policies at the next election - including personal income tax cuts.

The Labor policy, seen by Fairfax Media, is aimed at raising $5.6 billion in 2020 and a similar amount every year, equivalent to about $4,800 on average each year for every taxpayer affected.

Labor will target more than 1 million Australian taxpayers who own shares in a $59 billion revenue push.

This is based on Labor assumptions the reforms would hit about 8 per cent of taxpayers, or around 1.17 million individuals and superannuation funds - including 200,000 self-managed super funds.

In a key pledge, Mr Shorten will promise to continue with dividend imputation for millions of taxpayers and would only change the rules for those whose taxable income is so low they qualify for cash refunds.

“Everyone will still be able to use imputation credits to reduce their tax - but not to claim cash refunds,” he says in a draft of his remarks to a policy summit on Tuesday.

“Reforming the system to eliminate this concession will save the budget $11.4 billion over the final two years of the current forward estimates and $59 billion over the medium term.”

Under dividend imputation rules, Australians are given franking credits on the dividends they receive for the shares they own, in order to avoid company profits being taxed twice.

Because the company has already paid tax on its earnings, its dividend payments to shareholders come with credits that reduce the individual’s tax bill every year.

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 the Australian Tax Office and then receiving it as a cash refund.

Former prime minister Paul Keating, who introduced dividend imputation as treasurer in 1987, did not include the cash refund in the original scheme.

The cash payments only began after 2001 when the Howard government, enjoying a substantial budget surplus, decided to help the relatively small group who claimed they were owed money from the ATO.

The Coalition policy cost the budget $550 million at the time but the bill has blown out to $5.6 billion a year because of the rise in the number of shareholders and dividend payments.

Mr Shorten will tell the Chifley Research Centre today, in a policy move advanced by shadow treasurer Chris Bowen, that nobody will “pay more tax” because the cash payments will stop.

“I want to emphasise a few important points here. Firstly, this change only affects a very small number of shareholders who currently have no tax liability and use their imputation credits to receive a cash refund,” he says in his draft speech.

“These people will no longer receive a cash refund - but they will not be paying any additional tax."

“Let me repeat that: a small number of people will no longer receive a cash refund - but they will not be paying any additional tax.”


'I don't want them recycled back into harm': Calls for abused Aboriginal children to be placed into the care of white families

Leftist lies about a "stolen generation" have done great hard

Aboriginal children who are abused should be allowed into the care of white families, assistant children's minister David Gillespie has argued. Dr Gillespie wants to relax rules that keep Aboriginal foster children in the care of indigenous families because too many are still raped and abused.

He said his fears of 'an abandoned and damaged generation' trumped his desire not to create another Stolen Generation.

Dr Gillespie said there was a 'mind-blowing' number of aboriginal children with sexually transmitted diseases, adding: 'If a child is being raped we can't just say it's OK on cultural grounds.'

He said: 'In small communities, if a family is dysfunctional, that's not satisfactory. I don't want children recycled back into harm.'

Queensland will this year introduce 'permanent care orders' so Aboriginal children can be looked after by foster parents until they reach 18, reported the Courier-Mail.

'Foster care is not ideal, but there is a reluctance to put them in a more permanent situation for fear of creating another Stolen Generation,' Dr Gillespie said.

The minister is supported by prominent Aboriginal leader Warren Mundine who has long been campaigning for abused children to be allowed out of Aboriginal communities.

He said safety is 'paramount, more important than anything else, including culture and kin'. 'Culture is not a reason to leave a child in an unsafe or neglectful home,' he added. 'Indigenous children can be raised with their culture and language even in adoptive families.

'And, frankly, if parents can't take care of their children's basic needs, well-being and safety, I'd question what culture their children are learning anyway.'  


Case dropped but Christian clerics fight on for free speech

Two Hobart preachers will continue a constitutional challenge against Tasmania’s anti-discrimination laws, despite the withdrawal of a legal complaint about their preaching on homosexuality and gay marriage.

Presbyterian pastor Campbell Markham said yesterday the two had “no intention” of withdrawing their constitutional challenge to Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Act in light of the dropped complaint, despite advice the case could cost $20,000 in legal fees.

They also planned to seek a meeting with whomever was named attorney-general in the pending post-state election reshuffle, to lobby for another attempt at amending the act.

“We feel a responsibility to fight this law — not for ourselves, but on behalf of all Tasmanians who want to live in a free society,” said Mr Markham, of the city’s Cornerstone Church.

The state government last night suggested it was open to ­another tilt at reform, after changes to bolster religious freedom were last year blocked in the upper house.

“We remain of the view that the act as it stands does not get the balance right,” a spokeswoman said. “We are supportive of strengthening freedom of speech, but no decision has been made on any legislative change.”

Often described as the nation’s broadest anti-discrimination law, its section 17 bans conduct that “offends, humiliates, intimidates, insults or ridicules” someone on the basis of 22 attributes, including sexuality and religious belief.

Mr Markham said despite the complainant, Hobart man Sam Mazur, dropping the case against him and his church’s street evangelist, David Gee, it had already tied them up in legal wrangles for six months.

It had also set a precedent, with Equal Opportunity Tasmania agreeing to accept the complaint despite Mr Mazur not identifying as gay and instead bringing the complaint on behalf of others. “If the EOT starts accepting third-party complaints then every Tasmanian is exposed to legal ­action — not just because a person may be offended by what they say, but because someone may decide that someone else, somewhere, might be offended,” Mr Markham said.

Mr Mazur suggested he had withdrawn the complaint because of doubts about its chance of success, given that he was not gay.

According to Mr Mazur’s complaint, Mr Gee suggested same-sex marriage could lead to “polygamy, pedophilia, incest and even bestiality”. In online blogs, Pastor Markham has referred to the “distressingly dangerous homosexual lifestyle”.


Assertion in lieu of evidence

There are absolutely no facts advanced to support the assertions below.  Even the IPCC says that extreme weather events cannot be linked to present levels of warming

YOU can forget about climate change being a future phenomenon, according to Professor Lesley Hughes.

“It’s a now phenomenon,” she said during her visit to Bathurst on Monday.

She says the effects of climate change are already being seen in Australia – from more intense droughts to a longer bushfire season – and those impacts are only set to grow so “the status quo is not an option”.

Professor Hughes, a Distinguished Professor of Biology and Pro Vice-Chancellor at Macquarie University and a former federal Climate Commissioner, gave a lunchtime presentation on Monday hosted by Bathurst Community Climate Action Network and introduced by Councillor Jess Jennings.

She was brought to Bathurst courtesy of the Climate Council, whose Cities Power Partnership recently added Bathurst as a participant.

Speaking after her presentation, Professor Hughes was at pains to emphasise that the climate had already changed and would continue to change based on what was being put into the atmosphere now.

“What we will get for the next few decades is already on the way now,” she said.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

1 comment:

Paul said...

“These people will no longer receive a cash refund - but they will not be paying any additional tax."

Providing an answer to a question not asked. We really are too civil with them.