Tim Wilson Franking credits retiree tax 2019 federal election

Crikey readers have come out swinging against the LNP’s less than stellar line of attack on Labor’s plan to get rid of cash refunds for franking credits. As they point out, it’s going to be hard for the Coalition to truly defend a “welfare for the wealthy”. Elsewhere, we received an insightful note on the issue of the commercial space industry and space-junk from an insider, and readers discussed the steps necessary for saving the Murray-Darling Basin.

On the franking fight

John Kotsopoulos writes: What none of the critics can do is name a single country that has dividend imputation (refund of tax paid by investors on their dividends) let alone tax free cash handouts for investors paying no tax. Nor can they explain why Howard’s mining boom era freebie should continue to be supported by borrowing as noted by economist Stephen Koukoulas.

Robert Smith writes: Labor is fighting back with the “welfare for the wealthy” line, and by pointing out that someone who gets a cash refund of franking credits of $5000 has share assets of about $250,000 and dividend income of about $10,000. Those who write letters to the papers claiming it will cost them $30,000 have about $1.5 million in shares.

Mary Wood writes: Instead of accepting that they have been very lucky to get away with this for so long they man the barricades in the MSM. Where were all these journalists and freedom fighters when low-paid people lost penalty rates and Centrelink started its robodebt iniquity?

Annalise Lampe writes: This term “retirement tax” is nothing more than an easily repeated lie. It is merely removing an unjustifiable and unwarranted taxpayer cash payment subsidy. These people are fond of describing themselves as self funded retirees; they are not. What makes them think they are entitled to an additional tax funded payment?

On Australia’s space industry

Andrew Dempster writes: You illustrated today’s article with a picture of UNSW-EC0, one of the satellites built by the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research (ACSER) at UNSW. That satellite, and the other one we developed with USyd and ANU, INSPIRE-2, both de-orbited in December last year. It’s possible to design missions that don’t create space junk!

On the fate of the Murray-Darling Basin

Roger Raven writes: Given the challenges of enforcing coordination between states, we should follow the lead of Keating, Reith and Howard. It is time to use the Commonwealth’s powers over constitutional corporations to drive not just policy but also practices in both the energy and the hydro spheres, just as they did with industrial relations.

Too much of the debate is literally about the water. Complaints about water use are  complaints, ultimately, about a governmental/social/economic system focused not on sustaining a river system, but on looting it then leaving the bones for the crows. We need active government involvement in agriculture, both through Government Business Enterprises (such as what the Australian Wheat Board was) and the supply of policy and capital. KPMG itself has acknowledged that “fragmentation has hampered [agriculture’s] ability to address and progress important issues in a cohesive manner”.

Combining statutory production authorities with support organisations to fund and direct restructuring of agriculture and other land uses within the Basin plus a skilled and professional regulator will better use resources. It will also keep experienced farmers on the land, while giving younger ones much more confidence that farming is a serious career option. Ecologically, farmers still have a lot to learn. 

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