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‘Utterly untenable’: Labor pushes back on franking credit inquiry

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‘Utterly untenable’: Labor pushes back on franking credit inquiry

Labor has referred the chair of the Standing Committee on Economics to the Australian Federal Police over claims that he shared the personal data of voters with a fund manager.

Business Jotham Lian 11 February 2019
— 1 minute read

Liberal MP Tim Wilson, who has been leading an inquiry into the implication of removing refundable franking credits, has been accused by Labor of sharing details of voters who had provided evidence to the inquiry with Wilson Asset Management.

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Mr Wilson, who is a shareholder in funds managed by Wilson Asset Management, is also a distant relative of the fund manager, Geoff Wilson.

“Labor has referred Tim Wilson to the Australian Federal Police over allegations that confidential elector data may have been shared with a private firm and in reverse that shareholder details may have been shared with Tim Wilson,” said shadow assistant treasurer Dr Andrew Leigh.

“Tim Wilson has to step down. His position is utterly untenable.”

Geoff Wilson has declared that he part funded the website promoting the inquiry, while noting that Wilson Asset Management had only communicated with shareholders and signatories of their petition.

“Wilson Asset Management and the listed investment companies we manage have nothing to lose from this policy over and above the broader impacts [on] the economy and financial markets. On the contrary, listed investment companies can convert into trust structures to offset a reduction in the benefit of fully franked dividends to underlying shareholders,” Geoff Wilson said.

“I first met Tim Wilson MP during March 2018 at the Nexus Australian Youth Summit in Melbourne. It was there that we discovered that we are distant relatives. My father’s father’s father was his father’s father’s father’s father. I am currently unaware if I am related to Labor MP Josh Wilson, who is also on the Standing Committee on Economics.”

Labor’s proposal has been generating heated debates from both sides of the table, as well as the voting public, including the most recent inquiry hearing in Chatswood last Friday, where a man was ejected from the hearing and boos and jeers were heard when an attendee spoke in favour of the new policy.

“This is a tax break that no other country in the world has. It’s a tax refund for people who don’t pay any tax, where more than half the benefits go to people with more than two and a half million dollars in their superannuation accounts,” Dr Leigh said.

“We’ve carved out pensioners and charities. We’ve had extensive consultation with experts. We’ve worked hard to create a sensible policy and it’s extraordinary the government would use taxpayer money to transform an inquiry into a scare campaign.”

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‘Utterly untenable’: Labor pushes back on franking credit inquiry
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Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian is the news editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.

With a focus on breaking news and exclusive analysis, Jotham keeps Accountants Daily readers up to date with company moves, tax updates and essential business and client strategy. 

Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.

You can email Jotham at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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