Tax break we can’t afford
Mr Kolomeitz began his letter to the editor 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 is 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 – equivalent to more than Commonwealth spending on public schools.
Labor will close this tax concession while protecting pensioners who will be able to continue to access these cash refunds. We think that is fair.
Labor understands 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. 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.
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.
F. Phillips, Labor Candidate for Gilmore
Property under threat
I wish to bring to the attention of property owners on the south coast that their properties are not only at risk of dropping in value, but tmay be required to be demolished without compensation and at the owners' expense under requirements of the NSW Coastal Management Plan. Clauses are being sneakily applied by council to consent conditions for Development Applications so if you plan to build a new deck or carport you can expect "Time Limited Consent" to be a condition of the approval. For years Eurobodalla Shire Council has been requiring the owners of land in coastal areas assessed under its flood mapping as vulnerable to coastal hazards and the effects of climate change, to have a caveat placed on their titles as a condition of development approval. The caveat requires the owner to agree to remove all buildings at his/her expense and surrender the land to the state (without compensation) if the site is affected by inundation in any one year. Also the owner can be heavily fined if he/she tries to protect the property from inundation. Because of this insurance premiums are becoming unaffordable and making it even more difficult should you wish to sell your home for a reasonable market price.
This coastal management strategy was invented by the Greens, developed by a Labor government and implemented by the current NSW Coalition government. This "planned retreat" must be removed to bring life back into our coastal towns and give confidence back to the buyers of holiday homes from this area.
If you see your local member Shelley Hancock or could write to her, please let her know that you are not happy with this government's approach to coastal management.