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If Labor Introduces A Death Tax, Less People Will Be Prepared To Die!

Josh Frydenberg hadn’t written for three days and I was beginning to wonder if I’d offended him in some way, but last night there it was. A plea to remember that a vote for anyone but the Coalition was effectively a vote for Bill Shorten.

I’ve read this idea in a few places and it did make me wonder if they’d really thought it through. In summary, what they’re saying is if an independent third party is elected, there’s no way that any independent person would be prepared to back Scott Morrison.

Yep, they’re certainly rattled. The Liberal twitter account keeps tweeting about Labor talking about a death tax. Personally, I’ve only heard Shorten say Labor wouldn’t be introducing one, but that didn’t stop them editing it so that he was saying just the words “death tax” and playing just those words in an ad…

I also read on social media that it’d be 40% and if you couldn’t pay, you’d be forced to sell your parents house or car and the government would take their cut. It was amazingly specific for something that isn’t Labor policy and it does make one wonder if it’s actually a secret plan of the Liberals. After all, their ad did say that Shorten was the only one “talking” about a death tax. (Two can play at that scare campaign nonsense.)

Not only that but Scott Morrison hardly gave himself a ringing endorsement after announcing his first home buyer scheme. Later in the day, Labor back it and Scottie says they’re silly because they haven’t done due diligence and, unlike the Cabinet and the voters, they shouldn’t trust his idea without extensive modelling because he certainly hadn’t done any. Why should he? It’s not like he’ll ever have to implement it.

On the way home, I heard an angry man call Shorten “shifty” because of the so-called retiree tax. Now, I don’t know how the rest of you interpret “shifty” but if I tell you that I’m going to steal your wallet, you can call me a “thief” but it’s hardly what I’d call a shifty crime. Still, the man concerned seemed very confused anyway. Apparently, if those who are getting a franking credit were to no longer get it, then they’d be forced onto the pension and then the taxpayer would have to pay. This sort of overlooks the fact that it’s the taxpayer who’s refunding the franking credits. Whatever way you look at it, paying tax on future income is not taking the money people already have, even if that the way some are trying to spin it.

It made me remember Jean.  As the Murdoch press told us:

So poor Jean won’t get that $12,775. This means that she’ll have to struggle to make ends meet on a meagre $3,000 a week. Perhaps we should take up a collection…

And speaking of spin, I also noticed a couple of dozen ads where Clive Palmer’s UAP was telling us that Labor was planning to tax us an “extra trillion dollars”… It didn’t mention a time period, so maybe he was just assuming that they’d be in a long, long time. Just for your information a trillion is $1,000,000,000,000. And that’s extra on top of the taxes we already pay. Yes, it’s interesting to notice the shift in Clive’s ads since the preference deal. While he was attacking both major parties a few weeks ago, now it’s just Bill and Labor that seem to be attracting his disgust.

It has sort of disturbed me that the media have been treating the whole campaign as though the Liberals record over the past six years is an irrelevant detail and what really matters is the campaign. As though you should give the contract to the firm of the person who interviews well, even if they represent a company who has had two previous CEOs stand down after a revolt, and who completely failed to deliver on their previous contract. “Let’s give them another go,” you say, “because Bazza cracked those great jokes in his presentation about the other guy’s name. And he did say all the right things about getting jobs done on budget even if he hasn’t managed to do that in the past.  It’s not really his fault that his environmental manager hasn’t turned up to work for the past month and he had to do the whole presentation by himself…”

If you get a chance to read the Australian Financial Review editorial. In simple terms, it basically lamented the lost opportunities, the incompetence and the lack of courage of the Coalition, but hey, let’s stick with them because Labor is influenced by those unions and unions are so yesterday.

But hearing that Sportsbet has already paid out on a Labor win, I had to wonder if the media are going to stick to their “It’s just too close call” line, or whether they say that there’s always Brexit and Donald Trump to make us a little circumspect, but Saturday may end up being an early night.

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19 comments

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  1. whatever

    As I listen, our ABC Radio is continuing to Push-Poll on Coalition issues. They are talking to Central Coast pensioners about the Franking Credits,
    They will be asking about African Gangs next.

  2. New England Cocky

    It’s time ….. again!!!

  3. Alcibiades

    It’s Time, indeed. 🙂

    Was paid out by Sportsbet on Labor winning the Federal election … today … 3 days in advance.

    My wager was placed last year back when the odds were 1.60. As am not a gambler (only occasional elections), and never wager what am not prepared to lose, have reinvested the winnings on the loss of Dutton in Dickson, Abbott in Warringah & Hunt in Flinders. Hopin’ for an informal trifecta, though 2 outta 3 will do nicely.

    At this stage, all indicators considered, anticipate ALP ~85+, LNP ~58-59- & ~7-8 Independents/Green/Others come Saturday night.

  4. Rossleigh

    Vale Bob Hawke! Immaculate political timing to the last.

  5. andrino@tpg.com.au

    this talk about franking credits really fucking annoys me. It hits wealthy and NON WEALTHY alike. The fact that every brain surgeon who mentions it never distinguishes between poorer retirees and millionaires distorts the facts. Yea yea, i get it unpayed taxes. Thats not the point. The point is once you setup your retirement income streams, you cant just roll it all back as if it never happened. I did all my planning according to current rules, no more no less like everyone else. The changes wack 30% off my income. I will now be more dependant than ever before on a pension. I dont have $1m in super, far from it. In any case, anyone on a pension DOESN’T have $1m in a super fund, FACT.
    Its already a fact free and government free zone, lets not in our zealousy be blind to facts on the ground. Speak the truth not the mantra.

  6. andrino@tpg.com.au

    having said my piece, yes its that time again.

  7. paul walter

    The eighties were great times for me and much of it came down to Bob Hake leading the country out of Fraser’s gloom.

  8. Diannaart

    Rossleigh

    It’s not like ScoMo has a lot of choice, I mean jetting around the nation proclaiming, “a vote for anyone except the Coalition means a vote for Penny Wong”, doesn’t have the same visceral impact, in fact it is rather catchy, PM Penny, I rather like the sound of that.

    Or there’s Albo, Tanya, even Chris Bowen – all experienced politicians but … in fact, Bill is likely the only Labor member people have probably heard of and not in a good way thanks to Murdoch, et al.

    Having a go at casting aspersions is difficult. At least he’s having a go, eh?

  9. Rhonda

    Vale Bob Hawke. Sadly, It was his time. It’s definitely time

  10. Kaye Lee

    andrino,

    If you are a part-pensioner then you will still get your excess franking credit refund.

    I can understand how inconvenient it might be for you to rearrange your investments, or sell some shares, however my empathy is more with those who have nowhere to live and nothing to eat.

  11. Zathras

    A couple of Budgets ago the coalition quietly slipped in some interesting legislation for the treatment of existing self funded pensions.

    If you have such a fund and you die, the fund goes to your partner tax-free. However if both partners die and the fund is bequeathed to your children it then becomes taxable.

    That seems like a form of Death Duties to me – already in place and Coalition policy.

    As for the passing of Hawke it’s a timely reminder of what Labor governments are about and the stark difference between them and the Liberals.

  12. Andy56

    Kaye Lee, i am not on the pension yet. I have tried to structure so as to be independant of the pension. In fact i now work again after 4 yrs of retirement. If i didnt return to work, my super would have dissappeared very quickly. Sure i have some options, but was it meant to be so convoluted?
    I also get your point about empathy for those in far worse conditions than I. But i think this is a classic case that Scott has been pedaling. You dont make somebody better off by tearing down someone else.
    Scott is a snake oil salesman but even the devil can speak the truth at times, lol.
    The whole pension/super system needs to be restructured because as it stands it has no coherant target, only a minimum base , which is piss poor low.

  13. Josephus

    andrino the franking credit plan is not retroactive.

  14. Peter F

    My mother received franking credits. I noticed, in reviewing her finances after she died, that her accountant’s fee seemed somewhat eerily to follow closely the amount of those credits. I also noticed that they did NOT carry out their professional duties as required.

  15. totaram

    Zathras: You are absolutely right. Labor should be telling everyone that the coalition has already put a death duty on super, for the case where your descendants inherit it.

    The way to get around that is to withdraw whatever remains in the super as a lump-sum and leave it in your bank account, so your children can inherit it, without paying any tax. This assumes you don’t die very suddenly and unexpectedly.

  16. Zathras

    totaram,

    This change only affected funds that were existing at the time and not new ones.

    The alternative is to establish a new fund and transfer the contents of the old fund into it but it has to be done progressively because there is a limit to how much can be transferred each year.

    I only found out about it because of an astute financial advisor – most people missed it completely but it’s just another example of government hypocrisy.

    They claim to be the “pensioners’ friend” looking out for the battling retiree – the same people who kicked thousands off benefits or reduced them, increased the retirement age and have been actively working against increasing the Superannuation Guarantee since the Hawke era.

  17. totaram

    Zathras: Since I am long past the age when I can set up a new fund my ploy is the only one available to me. But look at the standard “projection” ploy. Claim that the Labor party is considering a “death tax”, when they have themselves set out on this course.

    As for the hypocrisy of these crooks – par for the course. Nothing new, nothing unexpected, all going according to the plan: screw everyone except the very rich, but fool everyone into thinking you are “looking after them”, by looking after the “wealth creators”, who will then “trickle it down” to the poor plebs.

    I always trot out my standard example of “wealth creation”: Buy a power station from the government for $1m, get it revalued to $730 m and then make a profit of $113M by operating that power station. If the government gives him more money, he will continue to run it to 2049 instead of 2029. That is Trevor St. Baker, donor extraordinaire to the coalition.

  18. Keith

    There are signs that a recession is a distinct possibility world wide through a trade war developing between the US and China. Also, Trump is playing silly buggers in relation to Iran. Australia’s fabulous economic managers have managed to have Australia slip in rankings on economic matters in OECD countries in a number of areas. A combination of unemployment and a gig market are not good signs. House prices have gone down under the Coalition government.

    Some big hits Internationally or locally by extreme conditions would hit countries hard in a recession period.

    Nature does not paint a happy picture should the LNP win the election.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-01543-6?utm_source=Nature+Briefing&utm_campaign=19b6f89941-briefing-dy-20190516&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c9dfd39373-19b6f89941-43800929

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