28 March 2018

Question: Treasurer Scott Morrison – Dividend Imputation

Ms HENDERSON My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer explain why it is important for retirees to have access to tax refunds generated from the dividends they receive from the companies they have invested their savings in for their retirement? What are the risks of alternative approaches?

 Mr MORRISON  I thank the member for Corangamite for her question. To respond, I think the best way is to give her an example of a constituent, Campbell, in her own electorate. Campbell’s mother is 91. She lives in Corangamite. She owns shares. It’s not a crime to own shares. She owns some shares. She’s not on the pension. She uses the tax refund she gets from her share investments because of the tax that was already paid by the company. And she uses that tax refund that she gets from those share investments. She gets that and she pays her nursing home bills with that money. Even at the age of 91, Campbell’s mum is looking after herself. She’s paying her bills and she’s used her investment to ensure that she has peace of mind in her retirement and that she has independence in her retirement.

Mr Keogh interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Burt is warned.

 Mr MORRISON: That’s why the government believes she should continue to get the tax refunds that she has put herself in a position to receive.

Labor think Campbell’s mum is a tax cheat. Labor think Campbell’s mum has never paid any tax in her life. Labor think that Campbell’s mum is the problem. I can tell you what: Labor are the problem. Labor are the problem because they don’t get what Campbell’s mum has done to put herself in a position where she can look after herself. And you know what’s going to happen?

Honourable members interjecting

Mr Keogh interjecting

The SPEAKER: The Treasurer will pause for a second. Treasurer, don’t resume your seat; this won’t take long. I’m not going to keep repeating myself on members who are being warned. I’ve warned the member for Burt. He’s continued to interject following that warning. He can leave under 94(a). For all those others who have been in identical situations time after time again, consider yourselves warned. We’re not going to put up with this wall of noise when the frontbench of the opposition expect me to be listening to the answer as well as the questions when they are asked.

The member for Burt then left the chamber.

 Mr MORRISON: What is going to happen now is that Campbell’s mum is going to go to Campbell and say: ‘I can’t afford to pay those nursing home fees. Campbell, can you help me out?’

Ms Chesters interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Bendigo will leave under 94(a).

The member for Bendigo then left the chamber.

 Mr MORRISON: Campbell will have to put his hand in his pocket to pay for the tax refund theft of the Leader of the Opposition. That’s what he’s going to have to do. This is not just going to hit people like Campbell’s mum; it’s going to hit Campbell too. And you imagine how Campbell’s mum is going to feel after she has done everything to ensure she can look after herself and then has to go to her son and say, ‘Can you help me out?’ They do not understand the dignity that they are insulting through this insulting retiree tax, the brainchild of the shadow Treasurer, the prince of failures in the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd government. This policy has become a shambles, and every time he changes it it gets worse.