Bill Shorten has ignited a class war over his proposed reform on dividend imputation, but who are the real victims here? Satirist Ben Pobjie has taken his cues from recent emphatic reactions and broken down the numbers on Australia’s most vulnerable.

CASE STUDY ONE

Ron and Rhonda are both 96 years old and live in a 28-bedroom Edwardian mansion on the Sydney Harbour foreshore. They also own several pastoral leases in the Victorian high country and 40% of a major supermarket chain. Under Shorten’s plan, what is the cheapest brand of cat food they can begin eating in order to survive?

ANSWER: Whichever the private chef manages to pick up from the market. 

CASE STUDY TWO

Arthur lives alone with his collection of porcelain clowns and the ashes of his late wife. Dividend imputation affords him a comfortable lifestyle in which he pays a young woman to visit each week and spit on him while he is dressed as a baby. Will the Labor policy force him to abandon this weekly ritual?

ANSWER: Arthur can draw down on his savings to continue his usual routine, but will have to switch to non-disposable nappies.

CASE STUDY THREE

Cheryl is 55 and wishes to retire early, but her current superannuation plan guarantees her only $300,000 per year if she lives to be 100, which means that without the cash refund she may be forced to keep the smaller of her yachts in dry dock during the winter. How will the destruction of all her hopes and dreams affect her?

ANSWER: The bitter disappointment caused by Labor policy will cause Cheryl to turn to drink, further draining her savings. Eventually Cheryl will crash her Volvo into a pop-up Thai street food café, killing dozens.

Peter Fray

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