Did the ATO waste taxpayer dough digging dirt for SloMo? - Media Release

CHRIS BOWEN MP
SHADOW TREASURER
MEMBER FOR MCMAHON
 
ANDREW LEIGH MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMPETITION AND PRODUCTIVITY
SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE IN SERVICES
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CHARITIES AND NOT-FOR-PROFITS
MEMBER FOR FENNER
 
DID ATO WASTE TAXPAYER DOUGH DIGGING DIRT FOR SLOMO?

The full extent of Scott Morrison’s politicisation of independent institutions remains unknown with the Australian Tax Office refusing to provide details of work done for the now Prime Minister, months after being asked.
 
In May, The Australian newspaper reported on costings of Labor tax policies as part of a heavily biased drop seemingly from the former Treasurer.
 
The Tax Office was asked later that month whether it had done the costings at the behest of Mr Morrison’s office, but remains unwilling to answer even three months on, saying it would be a “an unreasonable diversion of resources” to provide a response. That could suggest that Scott Morrison has laboured the ATO with a lot of costings requests of Labor policies.

The former Treasurer has a track record of politicising such institutions - not only commissioning Treasury work, releasing it selectively to some journalists and not releasing the full work for proper scrutiny, but also appointing former Liberal staffers to supposedly independent positions of power. They have even asked the Australian Tax Office to fact-check partisan claims for political media releases.
 
It is clear that Government has, at some stage, entertained reforms to negative gearing and dividend imputation. What’s not clear is to what extent were Australian Tax Office resources diverted to help potential policy development, and to what extent were the used for Mr Morrison’s cheap political attacks.
 
Surely the Liberals’ use of Treasury and the Tax Office to do partisan attacks on Labor is the real diversion of resources.
 
THURSDAY, 30 AUGUST 2018

Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra


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