Labor’s tax grab faces Senate block

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 12-Dec-18

Labor may not have sufficient support in the Senate for its proposal to abolish cash refunds for excess dividend imputation credits if it wins the 2019 federal election. Labor would require the support of the Greens and four crossbenchers to pass the reforms before the current Senate is dissolved on 30 June. However, nine of the 10 crossbenchers oppose the policy, with Fraser Anning describing it as a "socialist retiree tax". In addition, none of the current senators support Labor’s proposal to restrict negative gearing to new homes, although some favour capping the number of properties that can be negatively geared.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, ONE NATION PARTY, CENTRE ALLIANCE

Labor’s franking policy would cost economy

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 22-Nov-18

Liberal MP Tim Wilson has warned that many retirees would lose up to a third of their income under Labor’s plan to abolish cash refunds for excess dividend imputation credits. Meanwhile, the Grattan Institute has noted in its submission to a parliamentary inquiry that there would be some cost to the economy if Labor’s policy is implemented. However, the think tank has concluded that the policy may be the best option.

CORPORATES
LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, GRATTAN INSTITUTE

Bond investors like Labor’s franking cut

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 7-Nov-18

The Federal Opposition’s plan to abolish cash refunds for excess dividend imputation credits if it wins the next election has widespread support among bond fund managers. Elizabeth Moran of FIIG Securities says the dividend imputation system has prompted many investors to be highly exposed to risker asset classes; she notes that while bonds offer lower yields, they also offer less volatility. Australian Securitisation Forum CEO Chris Dalton agrees that Labor’s policy will make bonds more attractive to investors.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, FIIG SECURITIES LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN SECURITISATION FORUM, REALM INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, ALTIUS ASSET MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, PLATO INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN STOCK REPORT LIMITED, ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT

$10bn hole in Shorten’s retirees plan

Original article by Simon Benson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 18-Jun-18

Modelling by the Treasury has found that Labor’s proposal to scrap franking credit refunds would prompt individuals and self-managed superannuation funds to redirect their investment portfolios away from franked shares that pay dividends. This in turn would reduce the savings generated by the measure by nearly $A10bn over 10 years. Labor had estimated that the policy would save $A55.7bn over a decade, but the modelling suggests that the figure would be just $A45.8bn. Labor has already been forced to scale back its initial savings estimate of $A59bn.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. PARLIAMENTARY BUDGET OFFICE

Shorten defends super cash grab

Original article by Greg Brown
The Australian – Page: 4 : 19-Apr-18

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has responded to criticism of a proposal to abolish cash refunds for excess dividend imputation credits. He says claims that the policy could cost retail superannuation funds more than $3.75bn over 10 years are "rubbish", and he has refuted suggestions that the policy will hit pensioners. Shorten adds that taxpayers’ funds should be spend on infrastructure rather than giving cash refunds to people who do not pay tax.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Labor’s $3.75bn savings grab

Original article by Simon Benson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 18-Apr-18

New data suggests that the Federal Opposition’s plan to abolish cash refunds for excess dividend imputation credits would affect about 2.6 million accounts of superannuation funds that are regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. The Australian Taxation Office data shows that some 2,013 of the 2,603 APRA-regulated funds claimed such refunds in 2015-16, which totalled almost $A309m. This implies that Labor’s policy would cost such funds around $A3.75b over 10 years. Labor has claimed that only 10 per cent of APRA-regulated funds would be affected by the policy.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, THE ASSOCIATION OF SUPERANNUATION FUNDS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, INDUSTRY SUPER AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Labor back tracks on shares grab

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 27-Mar-18

The Australian Labor Party has announced changes to its policy to abolish cash refunds for franking credits, stating that full and part-pensioners will be exempt from its proposal. The backdown is expected to reduce the savings that Labor expects the policy to generate from $A59 billion to $A55.7 billion over the first decade of its implementation. Also exempt from the policy will be any self-managed superannuation fund that has at least one pensioner or other allowance drawing from it prior to 28 March.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HUMAN SERVICES. MEDICARE AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Flaw in Shorten’s $2.5m cash refund claim exposed

Original article by Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 21-Mar-18

SMSF Association chair Deborah Ralston says that contrary to claims by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, relatively few self-managed superannuation funds receive $A2.5m worth of cash refunds for excess dividend imputation credits each year. She adds that SMSFs would need to hold at least $A100m worth of Australian shares that pay fully franked dividends to qualify for such cash refunds. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has accused Shorten of targeting people on low incomes.

CORPORATES
SMSF ASSOCIATION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, RICE WARNER ACTUARIES PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE

Labor’s $59b franking figure questioned

Original article by Joanna Mather, Sally Patten
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 11 : 20-Mar-18

SMSF Association chair Deborah Ralston has questioned the modelling supporting Labor’s plan to scrap cash refunds for franking credits. Labor has stated that it will deliver revenue gains of $A59 billion, but Ralston contends that the modelling does not take into account the $A1.6 million limit imposed on tax-free superannuation pensions in 2017. For its part, Labor claims that the Parliamentary Budget Office did take the new limit into consideration when costing its proposal.

CORPORATES
SMSF ASSOCIATION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. PARLIAMENTARY BUDGET OFFICE, MORTGAGE CHOICE LIMITED – ASX MOC, MONASH UNIVERSITY

Future Fund exempt from Labor tax plan

Original article by Jacob Greber
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 16-Mar-18

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen has advised that the Federal Government’s Future Fund will be exempt from Labor’s proposed changes to the dividend imputation system. He says exempting the sovereign wealth fund from the reforms will have no net impact on the Budget, while adding that the fund’s ability to meet future public sector pension liabilities could have been affected if it were denied access to cash refunds for unclaimed dividend imputation credits.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. FUTURE FUND MANAGEMENT AGENCY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, AUSTRALIA. PARLIAMENTARY BUDGET OFFICE