Independent retirees claim inadequate ALP policy research

Retiree groups are continuing to rail against the Australian Labor Party’s franking credits and negative gearing policies, with the Association of Independent Retirees (AIR) now questioning the validity of the research used to underpin the proposed changes.

In a statement issued this week, AIR acting president, Wayne Strandquist said the association believed the franking credit cash refund policy must have been put together with very superficial research because very soon after its announcement, it was significantly amended to exempt hundreds of thousands of pensioners.

“Surely, a simple analysis of who had received franking credit refunds would have revealed the huge number of retirees who receive a part or full age pension and owned shares that would be affected by the proposed policy,” he claimed.

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“Clearly, if adequate research had been done on the impact of the policy on low-income self-funded retirees who just missed qualifying for a part age pension, the policy could have been designed to target those receiving much larger refunds,” Strandquist said

Further he claimed it appeared that inadequate research on the part of the Federal Opposition was  not confined to franking credit refunds policy with Labor’s negative gearing policy research also being challenged with understating the per centage of investors who bought a new property, and therefore overstating the potential savings from the policy. 

Strandquist said the proposed increases in capital gains tax and the elimination of negative gearing on pre-owned properties were reportedly reducing the demand for property by investors and magnifying price reductions in many population centres and that lower property prices were hurting retirees who were downsizing or moving into aged care.

“More detailed research on the impact of these policies would have identified unexpected consequences on retirees and lower revenue forecasts based on changes in investor behaviour,” he said.

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