18 Apr 2019 Parliamentary inquiry into the implications of removing franking credits: Fair game or a misuse of power!
Tim Wilson MP, Chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics, responds:
I have read your recent note. Unfortunately you have been misled. House committees can investigate any proposal that is referred to them.
Labor have deliberately misled the public, and people have believed it because they are confusing House and Senate Committees.
The House Economics Committee can look into any proposal.
The Senate Economics Committee can only look into legislation.
To make the point, the last reference the Economics Committee received before the Parliament proroguing was into an independent MP’s policy proposal. That was on reference from the Parliament.
By the false logic Labor proposes the Committee would have to defy the Parliament’s request.
For clarity – Labor did not oppose the inquiry into refundable franking credits until after we had held the fourth public hearing.
It is resolutely true that the vast majority are into government policy proposals. But it is in no way limited or has a history of only looking into government proposals.
Sadly, you have been misled by Labor’s deliberate attempts of misinformation to discredit this inquiry and process to try and distract from the thousands of submissions and hundreds of attendees into the issue.
It is all academic now. But it is an important point to note that so many people seem to have absorbed Labor’s deliberate misinformation campaign.
MEMBER 74 writes:
I attended one of the Sessions and found it to be very political but my real complaint is that the ALP representatives made no effort to explain their position on this though it would have been hard as Mr Bowen refuses or is unable to answer questions about the franking issue and its equal application to all people and not a section of the people.
MEMBER 75 writes:
Would have preferred you to tell me something about what the report said rather than your outrage over it being produced.
MEMBER 76 writes:
Got it Bob; you obviously don’t like Frydenberg.
MEMBER 77 writes:
Bob, I have to disagree with you. Labor must be stopped before they send thousands and thousands of retirees into abject poverty.
MEMBER 78 writes:
I would like to endorse Bob Deutsch’s comments on this politically biased enquiry which was an abuse of parliamentary process.
MEMBER 79 writes:
Dear Bob Deutsch
I believe that your article on the parliamentary review of franking credits is totally inappropriate.
I subscribe to the Tax Institute so as to obtain information on regulations and other tax matters not to read your personal views of the appropriateness of parliamentary committee.
It is an affront to me that you are using this form (tax newsletter) to express your personal views.
MEMBER 80 writes:
I have a lot of respect for Bob Deutsch for both his intellect and expertise.
Whilst I agree wholeheartedly that the Refunding Imputation Inquiry was politically motivated, I am of the belief that it was not an inappropriate waste of taxpayer money.
If there is a better mechanism for educating the public on a key element of our tax system, then I am all ears. It not only educated the public on how imputation credits work their way through a tax return, it also provided a voice for impacted individuals to personally hear or present their views to the panel members of the inquiry directly and thousands did just that. It is democracy at work.
As one politician recently put it, sunshine is the best disinfectant. The inquiry also invited debate around possible reforms to address some of the unfairness if such a measure was implemented.
The upcoming federal election will in part be fought on tax policy differences between the two major political parties. It is important to communicate to the broader community what each party is seeking a mandate for and more importantly understanding personal impacts so that an informed decision can be made. As there are many changes been proposed, the task of disseminating this information is a challenge as the general public are not tuned into the policy detail and are unaware of what is in the pipeline.
In summary, the inquiry did a good job of thrashing out what one policy was all about.
If only there was this level of interest in reforming our entire tax system to make it fit for purpose.