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‘We’ve reached the end of tax changes’ says Bowen on super


Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said a Labor government would implement “necessary” superannuation changes, but will avoid any further tax-based moves.

By Killian Plastow 8 minute read

At this stage, policy moves related to gender equality are on the table, and the federal opposition will not back delays in increases to the superannuation guarantee.

“I regard them as separate to superannuation tax changes, those are positive changes we’re continuing to work on,” Mr Bowen said in Sydney yesterday.

The commitment follows Labor’s proposed reformation of excess dividend imputation credits, which has so far been unpopular with the tax and accounting profession.

Mr Bowen defended the policy, claiming it would impact a minority of Australians, despite calculations to the contrary.

“The political problem facing us is that the vast majority of pensioners were unaffected, 90 per cent of Australians were unaffected, but because of scare campaigning many thought they were affected,” he said.

Mr Bowen added that dividend imputation was a positive feature of Australia’s financial system and should not be removed, but the ability for shareholders to receive cash refunds for excess imputation credits is “simply unaffordable, and not justifiable in policy terms”.

“Dividend imputation in itself, in the 1987-2000 model, avoids double taxation, and that should be avoided, that’s the right model. It’s transformed the way capital is formed in Australia,” he said

“The refundability of it is not integral to capital formation, and is not integral to the dividend imputation model that Keating set up.”

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