The United Australia Party is likely to join a number of other minor parties in opposing Labor’s policy to stop refunds of franking credits.
“I support franking credits,” says United Australia Party (UAP) Senator Brian Burston on his website.
“Retirees should have franking credits, regardless of income.”
Under Labor’s policy excess franking credits would no longer be refundable, though there is an exemption for Age Pensioners.
Should Labor win the election, it is likely to need votes from the crossbench in order to pass its franking credit change. But the policy is already facing opposition from Centre Alliance, One Nation and the Australian Conservatives.
If Labor wins the election it may try to pass some of its measures through the current Senate in a June sitting. Burston was elected in 2016 as a One Nation Senator, but left the party and joined UAP. He is contesting the 2019 election.
Burston said: “I am concerned with the possibility that 900,000 individuals and 200,000 super funds will suffer under possible franking credit changes. Around 50,000 pensioners would be affected.”
The 50,000 figure comes from the Coalition, and is based on the number of new Age Pensioners assumed to have SMSFs over the next decade. Under Labor’s policy Age Pensioners will be exempt from the franking credit change for assets in their own name; but only SMSFs with Age Pensioner members as at 28 March 2018 will be exempted.
“It is also concerning the majority of people affected are not wealthy with 84% of the people effected on an income below $37,000 per annum,” says Burston.
The Senator is using the taxable income figure, as the Coalition does, which excludes some types of income – including most superannuation payments after age 60.
“We must look after all retirees who have worked their lives to support this great country. If I continue to represent you after this election, I will support and advocate to keep franking credits. It’s the least we can do!”
It is unclear to what extent this reflect the policies of the UAP. The UAP’s “National Policy” doesn’t mention superannuation.