STRIKING RIGHT BALANCE
Mr Kolomeitz began his letter to the editor titled ‘Don’t Hold Your Breath’ (Illawarra Mercury, January 4, 2018) criticising Labor’s reforms to dividend imputation with ‘a civilisation may be judged on the extent to which it looks after its most vulnerable citizens.’
I couldn’t agree more and in fact that’s the philosophical underpinning of Labor’s tax reforms and reining in tax concessions that overwhelmingly benefit wealthier Australians while helping pay for our priorities such as schools and hospitals and protecting our pensioners and low-income Australians.
The fact of the matter is that with over half a trillion dollars in Commonwealth gross debt, the nation can no longer afford tax concessions like giving out cash refunds for excess imputation credits – a practice begun by Peter Costello in 2001.
Australia’s original dividend imputation system introduced in 1987 did not allow for cash refunds and no developed system currently includes refundability.
Left unchecked, the current system of cash refunds would see future governments faced with an $8 billion annual hole in the budget over the next decade – that is equivalent to more than Commonwealth spending on public schools!
Labor will close this tax concession while also protecting pensioners who will be able to continue to access these cash refunds.
We think that is fair.
Labor understands that times are tough for many pensioners and seniors under this conservative government.
Under the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government, health care costs are rising, energy prices are rising and wait-lists for home care packages have blown out significantly. In every budget since 2013, the Liberal Party has come up with new cuts that attack pensioners and their cost of living, including cuts to pension indexation, abolishing the $900 seniors supplement, changing the pension assets test, and cuts to the pensioners energy supplement.
Labor’s policy strikes the right balance between the need to rein in unfair tax concessions and improve the commonwealth Budget whilst ensuring low-income people are protected.
I know it’s a difficult decision and will affect some self-funded retirees but Labor is being upfront and honest before an election on what tough decisions are necessary, not saying one thing before an election only to deliver bad news after.
Fiona Phillips, Labor Candidate for Gilmore
CARE AND COMPASSION
To quote G.Kolomeitz’s statement from January 4: “A civilisation may be judged on the extent to which it looks after its most vulnerable citizens”.
Mahatma Ghandi quoted: “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way Its animals are treated.”
And another famous quote from Ghandi: “The true greatness of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.”
The powers that be should follow both of these quotes to the letter.
One day we all,in turn, will need care and compassion.
R. Strahan, Keiraville
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