by Darin Tyson-Chan
A recent poll conducted by Wilson Asset Management (WAM) among its clients opposed to the Labor Party’s proposed franking credit refund policy has found 69.2 per cent of respondents stand to lose between $5001 and $30,000 a year should the measure be introduced.
A further 13.1 per cent estimated their loss of income from the measure would be in excess of $30,001 a year. On the lower end of the scale, 15.9 per cent of participants said they would lose less than $5000 in annual income, while an additional 1.8 per cent revealed the measure would have no revenue impact on them.
As a result of the loss of franking credit refunds, 52.9 per cent of those polled admitted they would be forced to reduce their family’s living standard and quality of life.
With regard to current earning levels, over two-thirds (68.5 per cent) of those surveyed earn $90,000 or less per year.
From a political perspective, 59.5 per cent of the WAM petition signatories declared they would change their vote at the next federal election due to this proposal, with 23.7 per cent of respondents identifying themselves as current Labor supporters.
The polling exercise received responses from 3027 individuals, of which 21 per cent were women and 79 per cent men. With regard to demographics, 91.5 per cent of those surveyed were aged 51 or over.
WAM’s poll provided the ability for individuals to comment about the situation, with one participant noting: “Being a self-funded retiree, my wife and I depend on our dividends and imputation credits for our only income. Banks are only currently giving us 2 to 2.5 per cent, which is just not enough to live on. We do not want to go on the aged pension, but if they go down this path, it would be the only option we have.”
The survey was sent in late July to signatories of the fund manager’s petition against the proposal to make franking credit refunds no longer available to a wide number of retirees.
To date, the petition has secured 12,693 signatures and can be found at wilsonassetmanagement.com.au/petition.