COALITION WAVES THE WHITE FLAG ON MULTINATIONAL TAX DODGING
Nearly three years after promising a register designed to crack down on multinational tax avoidance, the Coalition has put the reform into the ‘too hard for us’ basket.
In April 2016, then Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer boasted that the Coalition would create a beneficial ownership of beneficial ownership, on the basis that:
“It does improve transparency. It means that the public and law enforcement agencies know who ultimately controls the company. It means it is a lot easier to expose wrongdoing or fraudulent conduct. It make it much easier to disrupt illicit financial flows and it makes it much, much harder to engage in tax avoidance.”
A year later, in March 2017, Treasury completed its consultation into a beneficial ownership register. In reply to questions on notice from Labor Senator Chris Ketter, Treasury confirmed that in the year and a half since then, the Coalition has done diddly-squat.
Comically, when the Guardian sought to determine what the Government was doing on a beneficial ownership register, Morrison Government ministers couldn’t even figure out who would be responsible:
“Inquiries on the register’s status to O’Dwyer’s office were referred to the assistant treasurer Stuart Robert’s office, which then passed them to the treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, who sent the inquiry back to Robert’s office.”
In April 2016, a beneficial ownership registry was a “critical” reform that would make it “much, much harder to engage in tax avoidance”. Now, only Labor is committed to implementing a beneficial ownership registry.
It looks like the Coalition are too busy with media question avoidance to even think about how to crack down on multinational tax avoidance.
Authorised by Noah Carrol, ALP, Canberra.