Tim Wilson’s franking credits inquiry, which has come under scrutiny and criticism, is coming to Western Australia and South Australia.
So far the public hearings of the inquiry have been held in NSW, Victoria and Queensland. The newly announced locations are:
- Carlisle, Western Australia – 25 February 2019
- Guildford, Western Australia – 25 February 2019
- Adelaide, South Australia – 26 February 2019
The SMSF Association and National Seniors Australia are set to appear before the inquiry at the Adelaide hearing. Both organisations are members of the Alliance for a Fairer Retirement System – a group formed in response to Labor’s franking credit policy.
MP Tim Wilson, who Chairs the inquiry, said: “These hearings will provide an opportunity for Australians impacted by a change to refundable franking credits to address the committee directly with a three minute statement, and we welcome their contributions and participation.”
Tim Wilson’s criticised Stop the Retirement Tax website is registering people for the public hearings, and doing so using the website requires handing over a range of personal information. This is despite the Parliamentary website for the inquiry saying that: “In relation to public meetings, pre-registration is not required to participate.”
“Members of the public can attend on the day and place their name on a list at the meeting venue to make a public statement,” says the Parliamentary website.
Tim Wilson has come under intense criticism after connections emerged between him and Geoff Wilson – founder and Chair of Wilson Asset Management (WAM), and who is running his own petition against Labor’s franking credit policy. Tim Wilson has shareholdings in WAM entities through his super fund, and they are also distantly related.
Geoff Wilson has said he part-funded the website, which links to the Wilson Asset Management petition.
Last week Labor asked the Speaker of the House of Representatives to consider if actions by Mr Wilson “constituted an improper interference” with the Committee conducting the inquiry and if he had a conflict of interest. The Speaker said he would report to the House at a later time.
Since the franking credit inquiry has come to broader attention Mr Wilson has been making a disclosure at the public hearings of the inquiry. At the most recent hearing Mr Wilson said:
There has been a focus on obsession around my interest in this issue because, being the chair, I had a reference from the Treasurer, and so I am being advised of the confected obligation that I must declare that my superannuation fund, which I hold with my husband, Ryan Bolger, called Wilson-Bolger Superannuation, owns WAM Leaders WAM Capital shares. It’s completely on my register. It’s not a secret. Go nuts. However, I can confirm that to the best of my knowledge Labor’s policy to scrap refundable franking credits will have no financial impact whatsoever on myself or my superannuation fund. Why? Because I pay tax. If you understand this issue, you’ll know why.