LIBERALS DIVIDED ON GOOGLE TAX
New divisions are opening up within the Abbott Government about Joe Hockey’s ‘Google tax’, with two Liberals yesterday flagging problems with the Treasurer’s latest thought-bubble.
On Lateline last night, Joe Hockey’s Assistant Treasurer acknowledged that the tax raises problems with international treaties and said Australia should prioritise multilateral action instead:
TONY JONES: So if you brought in a tax that could raise it, could you theoretically start raising money or would there be legal challenges that would stop you from doing it?
JOSH FRYDENBERG: Well there are legal questions to deal with, various treaties that are in place between Australia and other countries. That's why the OECD-G20 route is the best one to go down, because that would lead to a united position on these related issues.
- Lateline, 8 August
Mr Frydenberg’s comments follow Liberal Senator Sean Edwards’ comments at yesterday’s corporate tax inquiry that Australia should not act unilaterally in levying new global taxes.
These Liberals join a litany of lawyers and economists who have lined up to warn the Treasurer against unilaterally adopting a diverted profits tax.
When Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan and some of Australia’s leading tax academics and lawyers are all warning that a tax like this would be ineffective in tackling multinational tax avoidance, it is definitely time to listen.
Australia deserves action on multinational tax avoidance, not whacky ideas and pathetic excuses. Labor’s $1.9 billion multinational tax package has been informed by advice from the OECD, Australian experts and costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office.
Joe Hockey needs to put his pride to one side and adopt Labor’s package instead of pursuing a zany tax that even members of his own party say is wrong-headed.
THURSDAY, 9 APRIL 2015
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