Flawed taxation

I can’t agree with G Jude (Letters, April 13) that the Labor Party has a “plan to confiscate the franking credits attached to company dividends…”.
Since 2007, thanks to Peter Costello’s desperation to hang on to government, we’ve not paid any tax on superannuation withdrawals.
As a result, the income of most self funded retirees, including me, far exceeds their modest taxable
income.
Most self funded retirees will have investments in companies that have already paid the tax owing on dividends. So the shareholder shouldn’t have to pay the tax a second time.
In 1987, Paul Keating introduced dividend imputation credits to the shareholder to ensure that dividends are only taxed once.
Dividend imputation credits did not apply when the shareholder had no taxable income, as is often the case with retirees who live on their own super withdrawals.
In 2000, again to win an election, Peter Costello introduced the Cash Refund Policy, where for the first time dividend imputation credits were paid in cash to people who had no taxable income.
The net effect of that was that no tax at all was paid on those
dividends.
No other country in the world does this, and neither should we.

Leigh Callinan,
Bendigo

 

Why no covenants?

I feel compelled to write in regard to the article concerning Nanga Gnulle in the Bendigo Weekly on April 13.
It is very noble of Cathy Spencer to be campaigning to protect the property from development, but one has to ask, why if she is so concerned about the future of the property, didn’t she encourage her parents to sell with covenants in place to protect the property in the first place?One can only assume that there is a double standard here. Her parents sold it to maximise their return, but she then wants to impose conditions on the new owner.

Max Gamble,
Kennington

 

Open but unfinished

With reports that the Ravenswood interchange was completed and officially opened I was looking for a more seamless trip to the airport for my trip to WA over Easter.
Imagine my surprise and a little anger to find that nothing had changed at Ravenswood, lanes were closed and speed restrictions in place.
So why would someone decide to declare it open when it was obviously not finished?
It reminded me of a similar fiasco 15 years ago when a minister from the same political party declared the Carlsruhe section of the freeway open before it was finished, again just before Easter.
Why do politicians find it so difficult to learn from the mistakes of the past, I guess it matters little to them the state of the road for users so long as they get some publicity?
Was it was just luck that our new hospital was ready to take patients when it was declared open?

C Henry,
Bendigo

 

Black spot hazard

Traffic lights at the intersection of Furness Street and Calder Highway are urgently needed.
Speed limits need to be changed for traffic coming into Kangaroo Flat on the highway.
The current speed limit is 80 kilometres per hour right up to approaching Lockwood Road. This makes entering the highway from Furness Street difficult at times. Turning right onto the highway is both frustrating and dangerous.
Land development and new estates in this area are increasing the amount of traffic and risk of accidents.
Surely the speed limit needs to be reduced to 60km/h from Big Hill Primary school all the way into Kangaroo Flat shops. Road safety should be a priority focus in this fast developing suburban area.

Jennifer Castle,
Kangaroo Flat

 

Foley’s folly

Compulsory acquisition of a person’s livelihood by council is not a very palatable option by those elected representatives of the people affected.
Will those same elected representatives please explain the options that where reviewed and the costing of same – compared to the cost to ratepayers of compulsory acquisition of the farmer’s land?
It shows a lack of compassion and empathy from local council representatives more concerned with pie in the sky promises from business representatives.
Will they state openly who is pulling the strings in this proposal, council or the state government?
Why take very good arable land when there is plenty of Crown land available and an old golf course with a rail connection at Eaglehawk? That rail, I thought would come into the equation.
Will the councillors reveal to the public the cost of this take-over of land?
And will it fairly compensate the family for 16 years of worry, concern, anguish and loss of their farm? I doubt that will happen.
Openness and transparency is something that ratepayers should be demanding in this proposal, or will it be another folly by Minister Foley?

Bill Collier,
Golden Square

 

Distribute locally

The problem of insufficient food supplies in Bendigo is brought about by allowing food to be forwarded to many other towns as far away as Ouyen.
Food share was set up by Uniting Care to assist with the problem of obtaining food that would otherwise go to waste.
But food is now being sent to more than a 100 towns to supply their needs.
Stop this business and allow the food outlets here to distribute food as needed.
Problem solved.

Peter Tharle,
Bendigo

 

Strident voices

Kate Olliver’s letter (Bendigo Weekly, April 13) makes dismal reading, but not because she is wrong. On the contrary.
The reactionary voices in this community are strident and persistent.
Some notable examples appear regularly in this letters page, as readers will know.
Pick any social justice issue, and the reactionaries will be in there predicting doom, gloom and the end of decent civilisation.
Think marriage equality, Safe Schools, renewable energy, mosques or refugees, for instance, and you begin to get the picture.
The objections of the hard right to these issues ultimately all amount to the same thing. What these people dislike so intensely is confronting world views differing from their own.
They cannot abide difference because they feel threatened by it. Yet they will condone behaviour such as huge tax concessions to big business while remaining silent about low wages and underemployment. Why?
Do their aspirations lead them to identify upwards not downwards? If so, are others who do not share their aspirations inconsequential at best, downright nuisances at worst?
The phenomenon of Trump comes to mind, but Australian pollies are not immune – they tap into this deep yet poorly articulated sense of being somehow owed, and use it to their advantage. One Nation and the alt-right Liberals are home grown examples.
We are indeed xenophobic, selfish, racist, and compassionless – the rise of the hard right is both a symptom and a consequence of this.

Julie Hopper,
Bendigo

 

Jobs the issue

I wish reporters would read the Marong Business Park Independent Planning Panel report as it’s written.
It’s 3500 extra jobs for Bendigo overall – not just for the business park.
The panel did not recommend compulsory acquisition because there are other options available for industrial land; and besides that, unless power prices come down there will be no industry left in the region, or state.
That’s not likely under Daniel Andrews; he wants to increase unreliable and expensive renewable energy. This would destroy jobs in Bendigo and elsewhere in Victoria.

Helen Leach,
Bendigo

 

Who will cut my hair?

Unfortunately Lockington’s hairdresser had to shut shop and move for personal reasons and now the community, without these special services, would dearly love a replacement.
The community want to shop locally, also some members have not the time, nor transport, to go to another town.
Senior citizens with “gophers” have been able in the past to take themselves to hair appointments without the need of a car, and children go after school hours without inconveniencing farming families.
Lockington would dearly love to see a hairdresser functioning in town as soon as possible.

Beryl Marshall,
Lockington