Shorten’s Retiree Tax Ground Zero

January 30, 2019

Townsville self-funded retiree Rex Grattidge will lose 25 per cent of his annual income if a Shorten Labor government introduces its proposed overhaul of franking credits on share portfolios.

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The Australian Financial Review reports, the implications for Labor's planned tax changes in Queensland–- which has one of the highest percentages of self-funded retirees in the country – could become a political headache for Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, who is aiming to use the northern state as the foundation to help him win The Lodge in the federal election which is expected in May.

Self-funded retirees, who are outraged over the proposed scrapping of cash refunds of franking credits, have been fronting federal parliamentary inquiry hearings in Queensland this week.

Mr Grattidge, 81, who retired in 1991 after a career working for the Department of Primary Industries and as a quarantine officer, took his superannuation as a lump sum and has been managing his nest egg ever since.

Shares now make a significant portion of his assets. As a result, the removal of cash refunds from imputation credits will have a material impact on the amount of money he receives to cover his expenses.

If it becomes law, Mr Grattidge, whose current annual income is $30,000, is worried he and his wife Sally will have to sell shares to keep afloat.

"It's bad because I will lose a quarter of my income and other people will lose about a third of their income," he told The Australian Financial Review.

"How would it affect you if you lost a third of your income? You wouldn't have the money to buy the things you normally would."

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