A new anti-ALP campaign starring “Jim, 72, retiree” was released last Friday by Georgina Downer, the Liberal candidate in the Adelaide seat of Mayo.
The man in the ad is identified only as Jim, a 72-year-old South Coast retiree.
In the ad, Jim said: “Bill Shorten’s retirement tax is hopeless for us people living in South Australia and a lot of people, my friends included, we rely on our stocks and shares and the dividends we get from them”.
At first, Jim looks like an ordinary vote worried about the ALP’s plan to end cash refunds for franked dividends.
He continued: “Bill Shorten hasn’t thought about the people who have worked hard … and now we’re not quite sure what’s going to happen in the future.
“That’s one of the reasons why I’ll be voting for the federal Liberal government at this election”.
However, as revealed by the Sydney Morning Herald, Jim, whose last name is Bonner, is actually a devoted Liberal Party servant and has worked in a variety of government and campaign roles over the last 40 years.
As the Coalition increases its campaign against Labor’s dividend imputation policy, Downer has been found out for using the long-time Liberal campaigner in campaign material without disclosing his party background.
Bonner’s history with the Liberal Party goes back to his time as a press secretary for prime minister Malcolm Fraser in the early 1980s.
He also held senior positions with the ABC before returning to Liberal ranks, before becoming South Australia state director of the party from 1998 to 2001.
In the campaign video posted on Facebook, Bonner is just an example of what Downer says are “thousands of people in Mayo who will be affected by Bill Shorten’s retiree tax”.
The ALP, if elected, plans to end cash refunds that people with no taxable income receive from the government for franking credits on shares.
The refund was first introduced by the Howard government, and removing the refunds would increase the federal budget by $5 billion a year.