Stopping refunds of franking credits has more support than opposition: poll

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More people support stopping refunds of franking credits than oppose it, according to a new poll.

The latest Guardian Essential poll found 39% total support for stopping refunds of dividend franking credits. 30% in total oppose the measure, with 31% answering ‘don’t know’. Included in these figures are 15% who ‘strongly support’ stopping the refunds, and 14% who ‘strongly oppose’. Labor has a policy of stopping franking credit refunds for many taxpayers, though there are differences between Labor’s policy and the question asked.

Support and opposition to stopping refunding of franking credits

50% of those who vote Labor either support or strongly support the measure, compared to 32% of Coalition voters.

Support and opposition to stopping refunding of franking credits, by major political party

Comparing voters, only the Coalition had higher levels of opposition to stopping refunding of credits (44%) than support. Labor, Greens and Other voters all had more support for the measure than opposition.

Those most likely to oppose stopping refunds of franking credits were those aged over 55 (42%), while people under age 34 were most likely to support it (54%).

Respondents with a household income over $78,000 support stopping refunds 48%, and those with a university education 46%.

The poll asked:

When companies pay dividends to Australian shareholders out of after-tax profit, shareholders receive franking credits, which they can claim as a tax deduction. If the shareholder does not pay any tax, they receive a cash refund from the tax office. This system is known as “dividend imputation” and these cash payments cost the Government about $8 billion per year. The Labor Party has proposed to end the cash refunds for imputation credits. Taxpayers will still be able to claim a tax deduction. Do you support or oppose ending the cash refunds?

The question does not state that, under Labor’s policy, Age Pensioners will be exempt (also, technically, franking credits aren’t a tax deduction).

The same poll found that, Federally, Labor is ahead of the Coalition 54% to 46% on a 2 Party Preferred basis.

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