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Pauline Hanson erupts over Danielle Wood’s inheritance tax proposal


One Nation’s Pauline Hanson has blasted a suggestion that the government should consider inheritance taxes for the rich, declaring the idea “left-wing”.

Incoming Productivity Commission boss Danielle Wood controversially urged the federal government to have a “sensible conversation” about inheritance taxes on Monday, while acknowledging the policy is “political dynamite”.

In an interview with 2GB radio this morning, Senator Hansen dismissed Ms Wood as nothing more than a “Marxist” with socialist policies.

“She’s coming up with these ideas that she’s previously backed [such as] slashing defence spending which we need,” Senator Hanson said.

“Increasing the GST by 15 per cent, again hurting the Australian people out there because this money goes to the state who actually waste money and we get nothing for it.

“Then she wants to redesign stage three tax cuts, which for all of you people out there working hard, expecting a bit of a tax cut … she wants to take that away from you. And then including the home in the age pensioner’s assets test and then rolling back generous superannuation tax concessions.”

Senator Hanson told 2GB’s Luke Grant that Ms Wood “doesn’t win any awards from me”.

“And if Labor rely on her and her economic sense … I wouldn’t have an economist [do] my grocery shopping for me,” she said.

Ms Wood, who will be leaving her role at the Grattan Institute for her new job, has stated that her personal views are longstanding and focuses on concerns that the burden of taxation will continually be on the shoulders of younger workers.

She told that her personal views will not be part of the work that she planned to do within her new role, unless it made a referral on tax.

“We know that there is a growing pot of wealth, sitting in the hands of older Australians that will be passed on in coming decades,” she said.

“You would set some kind of threshold for the size of inheritances and only tax above that amount.”

In a recent speech at the Grattan Institute that was first reported by The Australian Financial Review, Ms Wood agreed that the idea was “political dynamite”.

“It’s just a very politically sensitive topic. I think it’s because it’s seen as kind of interfering with a personal transaction, which is sort of given out of love, and I understand the sensitivity of that.”

However, her focus was on the projected burden that younger workers will carry in the future.

“But in a world again, where we need to raise money, we’re otherwise going to be pushing a huge burden on future workers.”

Other calls Ms Wood has made were for retirees to pay a 15 per cent tax on their superannuation earnings, along with a reduction in the 50 per cent capital gains tax discount.

Currently, Australia is one of 16 countries with no inheritance tax after Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser abolished it in 1979.

Other countries with no inheritance tax includes our neighbour New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Singapore, Norway, Luxembourg, Portugal, Sweden, Israel, Slovakia and Serbia.

Pauline Hanson

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.