Labor calls for Tim Wilson to resign Chair of Committee running franking credit inquiry

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Labor has called for Liberal MP Tim Wilson to resign as Chair of the House of Representatives Committee conducting an inquiry into refundable franking credits.

Labor claims that Tim Wilson has a conflict on interest, following from a report in the Sydney Morning Herald detailing connections between Tim Wilson and Geoff Wilson – founder and Chair of Wilson Asset Management, and who is conducting his own petition against Labor’s policy.

The Prime Minister is standing by Tim Wilson, saying the call to sack Mr Wilson was “classic Labor”.

“Classic, thugging, Labor. Throwing mud wherever they can,” added the PM.

One of the questions Labor has is if the personal information collected by the website will be given to the Liberal party. In order register for a public hearing (which the Parliamentary website says is not required to attend) or lodge a submission (which can also be done through the Parliamentary website) using the Stop the Retirement Tax website requires giving over name, email, phone and address.

Labor has been opposed to the House inquiry into franking credits since it was announced, saying it was unprecedented for a ministerial reference to be made to a Parliamentary Committee focusing on an Opposition policy.

On the weekend it was reported that Labor was considering lodging a complaint against Tim Wilson with the Speaker of the House, or attempting to refer Mr Wilson to the privileges committee. Parliament is next due to sit on Tuesday.

Tim Wilson has been criticised in relation to the inquiry, particularly around the Stop the Retirement Tax website he has authorised. The website has been registering people wishing to attend public hearings of the inquiry. Yesterday the Parliamentary website of the inquiry was updated to say that pre-registration was not required in order for people to attend public hearings.

The section of the Stop the Retirement Tax website allowing for a pre-written submission to be lodged has a check-box saying “I want to be registered for the petition against the retirement tax” – linking to the Wilson Asset Management petition. The page registering people for the public hearings does not contain such a link.

More to come.

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