Hockey's empty tax plan - Media Release


Joe Hockey’s handling of multinational tax shows sadly why he’s likely to be dumped as Treasurer.

After over two years of bluster, Mr Hockey’s best effort is a policy so vague that the Treasury couldn’t even cost it.

His budget papers have a series of asterisks where there should be revenue estimates. 

If Labor had fronted up and said: ‘here’s our multinational tax package – no idea how much it’ll raise’, we’d have been laughed out of the Parliament. And rightly so.

Instead, we have announced a PBO-costed, carefully-considered $7.2 billion package of measures that will crack down on companies using debt deductions to shift profits out of Australia.

We have never said our package is the final word on tackling multinational tax avoidance. Labor is open to considering any serious proposals that will help ensure big companies pay their fair share.

But when the Treasurer can’t put a dollar figure on the amount of tax his package will return, you have to ask how serious he is about protecting Australia’s revenue base. 

This is the same Treasurer who is currently trying to gut Australia’s tax transparency laws. Joe Hockey wants to help some of this country’s biggest companies keep their tax dealings secret so that Australians never know how much – or how little – they’re really paying.

There is a Ministerial reshuffle due within days. With a new Treasurer there is now an opportunity for the Turnbull Government to re-set its approach and get serious about tackling tax avoidance.

A new Treasurer must start by adopting Labor’s $7.2 billion multinational tax package. Joe Hockey’s proposal does nothing to stop companies using debt deductions to send money offshore – ours does.

Then they need to drop this push to gut Australia’s tax transparency laws.

If they fail to do that, they will show that this continues to be a government which is strong with the weak, but weak with the strong. 



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