Labor won’t take same franking credit policy to next election: Albanese

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Labor won’t be taking the exact same franking credits policy to the next election, but may not be dropping it altogether.

Labor Leader Anthony Albanese said that Labor wouldn’t be taking the same policy on franking credits to the next election, in an interview on Sky News.

Well ahead of the previous federal election, Labor announced its contentious policy of stopping refunds of excess franking credits. Initially age pensioners weren’t exempted from the policy, but Labor soon announced its ‘Pensioner Guarantee’, largely exempting pensioners and some SMSFs.

Labor’s review of the election campaign found that the franking credit policy wasn’t a “significant” vote changer by itself, but that it did allow for a Coalition attack – who dubbed it a ‘retiree tax’ – and fed into concerns from some about the impact of Labor’s policies on the economy. But the money raised from changes to franking credits, and negative gearing, was needed to fund other promises.

Following the release of the campaign review, Albanese said that Labor would be releasing policy “over the course of the term, but particularly closer to the election.”.

In the interview, Albanese pointed out that the next election is not until 2022. On franking credits he said:“We will go through the detail of the announcement that we will make down the track. But, very clearly, we won’t be taking the same policy to the election”.

Asked directly if he was ruling out a policy involving changes to franking credits, but with existing benefits being grandfathered, Albanese said: “Well, I have a view about those things, but we will have our processes.”

Albanese pointed to the establishment of “appropriate mechanisms where I have consultations, we have proper Shadow Cabinet process, and a proper caucus process”.

Shortly after the election, Albanese acknowledged grandfathering and capping franking credits as options. Reportedly, Labor had requested a costing from the Parliamentary Budget Office before the election, which included a $5,000 cap on franking credits. The option of grandfathering was rejected as it would not have raised revenue soon enough.

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