Australia

Labor leader dumps franking credits policy, brands Scott Morrison ‘fake’ in election pitch


Federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has officially dumped the party’s controversial franking credits policy, while blasting Scott Morrison as ‘fake’ as Labor gears up for the next election.

Mr Albanese made the comments in a speech to the Labor party faithful on Saturday as he outlined the opposition’s strategy for the election, which is likely to be held late this year or early next year.

“To win the next election, we need to do more than highlight the current government’s deficiencies,” he said in the speech delivered online.

“And when it comes to Scott Morrison, I think Australians have started to work him out anyway.

“They see him as fake – as someone who is always political and always looking (to) shift blame to others.”

Labor took the franking credits policy, which would have closed a concession that gives cash refunds for excess dividend imputation credits, unsuccessfully to the last election.

The policy costs taxpayers $6 billion a year.

Mr Albanese said the party had learnt from a review that looked into why the party – despite being favoured by national polls – lost the 2016 election.

He said voters were distracted by the franking credits policy.

“I can confirm that Labor has heard that message clearly and we will not be taking any changes to franking credits to the next election.”

The Liberal-National Coalition had branded the policy the “retiree tax” and Liberal MP Tim Wilson held parliamentary inquiries into the potential change.

But according to the left-leaning The Australia Institute, it allowed some self-funded retirees to get a tax refund for tax they did not pay. 

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