Media


A level playing field on tax - Sky Lunchtime Agenda

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

TV INTERVIEW

SKY LUNCHTIME AGENDA

MONDAY, 2 MARCH 2015

SUBJECT/S: Labor’s multinational tax avoidance package.

LAURA JAYES: Today Labor has announced a new package of ideas on countering multinational profit shifting. The Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh joins me now – Andrew, this is something countries right around the world have been grappling with for quite some time, so why is it suddenly so simple?

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Well Laura, it has become more complicated as firms have moved towards virtual production. Three of the five biggest companies in the world are information technology companies and for firms like that, the location of production is less clear than it was in the old agriculture and manufacturing world. So the tax laws need to keep up and when Labor was last in office we put in place a $4 billion package to tackle multinational profit shifting.

JAYES: Yes on that package, what is different from that package to what we're seeing now?

LEIGH: Well there's an element of that package which the Government chose not to proceed with. At the same time as cutting the wages of the cleaners who clean their offices, they gave a billion dollars back to multinationals.

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Multinational tax and intergenerational fairness - Breaking Politics

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

ONLINE INTERVIEW

BREAKING POLITICS

MONDAY, 02 MARCH 2015

SUBJECT/S: Leadership, opinion polls, Medicare co-payment, private healthcare costs, troops to Iraq, Intergenerational report, Labor’s multinational tax package, ATO funding.

HAMMER: Andrew Laming is Liberal MP for Bowman in Queensland, Andrew Leigh is the Labor member for Fraser here in the ACT and also importantly today, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer, we'll move onto your portfolio response in a minute. But first, Andrew Laming, I must ask you about leadership, there's a new poll, a good poll for the Government. Does that show that Tony Abbott is rebounding or does it show that voters have already moved on.

ANDREW LAMING, FEDERAL MEMBER FOR BOWMAN: The different positive polls of course, the standard line is the only one that matters is election day, but I can guarantee there will be a fair bit of high-fiving in offices like mine and around the country to see improving polls. It's a positive signal and you'd always rather them going that way than the other way.

HAMMER: So is Tony Abbott completely safe at least until after the budget?

LAMING: I think, anywhere further than 50 metres from this building. I'm sure that within this building we'll still be talking about it all week, that's the nature of Parliament House.

HAMMER: But outside?

LAMING: The bigger issue now is starting to take over. You've got the intergenerational report, and Andrew's announcement makes a valuable contribution today and a whole range of other issues, from country of origin labelling to overseas deployment, need to become the issues for this week.

HAMMER: Ok, Andrew Leigh, is this the best possible result for Labor? Tony Abbott remaining in the job for the foreseeable future?

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Chris, whether the polls go up, down or sideways you'll never get me saying anything other than the fact that they're not a particularly useful metric. What I do think though is that Australians, as Andrew said are focused on numbers. Numbers such as the fact that unemployment has gone up and that confidence is going down.

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Launching Labor's multinational tax package - Press Conference, Canberra

THE HON. BILL SHORTEN

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG

 

CHRIS BOWEN MP

SHADOW TREASURER

MEMBER FOR MCMAHON

 

ANDREW LEIGH MP

SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER

SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMPETITION

MEMBER FOR FRASER

 

BIG MULTINATIONALS TO PAY FAIR SHARE UNDER LABOR

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

PRESS CONFERENCE

CANBERRA

MONDAY, 02 MARCH 2015

SUBJECT/S:  Multinationals to pay fair share under Labor; Liberal Party’s Unfair Budget; Foreign investment changes; Intergenerational Report; Human Rights Commission; Iraq; Polls

BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Good afternoon everybody, I'm here this afternoon with our Shadow Treasurer and Shadow Assistant Treasurer to announce Labor's plan for a level playing field for multinational companies to ensure that they pay their fair share of taxation, just like everyone else has to. The following are the principles which underpin our announcement. How can we ask Australians to work hard and pay tax if the rules aren't fair for multinationals too? How can Australian businesses compete if they pay more tax in Australia than big multinationals?

In the last Budget the Liberal Nationals handed back more than $1 billion to big multinationals, but cut the pensions at the same time. In the last Budget they reopened the door for big multinationals to avoid paying tax in this country, but they put a tax on going to see the doctor. Under the Liberals, some large multinationals pay less, while young Australians will pay more for their university degrees. Last year, one of the world's largest companies paid only $80 million in Australian tax on local revenue of just over $6 billion; this isn't good enough. I believe everyone works hard in this country, seeks to grow their businesses creating national wealth for all. That means all of us have an obligation to pay our fair share of taxation. Our tax system shouldn't get softer the higher it goes. How much tax you pay shouldn't depend upon how much you can afford to pay your tax lawyer and specialist accountants.

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Big multinationals to pay fair share under Labor

Today I joined Bill Shorten and Chris Bowen in announcing the first of Labor's significant policy plans. Our multinational tax package aims to ensure that all companies doing business in Australia - big and small - pay their fair share. Here's the details:

 

THE HON BILL SHORTEN MP

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG


CHRIS BOWEN MP

SHADOW TREASURER

MEMBER FOR MCMAHON


ANDREW LEIGH MP

SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER

SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMPETITION

MEMBER FOR FRASER

 

MEDIA RELEASE

BIG MULTINATIONALS TO PAY FAIR SHARE UNDER LABOR

Labor will shut down loopholes which allow big multinational companies to send profits overseas, ensuring they pay their fair share of tax, just like everyone else has to.

Labor’s plan will bring at least $1.9 billion back to Australia in tax from big multinationals over the next four years, according to the Parliamentary Budget Office.

This package includes:

Changes to the arrangements for how multinational companies claim tax deductions

Greater compliance work by the ATO to track down and tackle corporate tax avoidance

Cracking down on multinational companies using hybrid structures to reduce tax

Improved transparency and data matching.

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Tackling multinational profit shifting - Doorstop, Canberra

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

DOORSTOP

CANBERRA

MONDAY, 02 MARCH 2015 

SUBJECT/S: Labor’s multinational tax avoidance package.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: When Labor was last in office, Wayne Swan and David Bradbury put together a $4 billion package of measures to tackle multinational profit shifting. This is an issue that many around the world have been concerned with – whether it's the OECD, the G20, or even the Australian Tax Office. But the Abbott Government has dropped the ball. When they came to office, they gave more than $1 billion back to multinationals – firms that need a tax handout from the Abbott Government like Prince Philip needs a knighthood. Over the last year, Labor has been working on our own policies. Figuring that the Government wasn't going to act fairly, we felt we needed to put together our own package. Today, Bill Shorten, Chris Bowen and I will be announcing a $1.9 billion package that will deal with some of the forms of multinational profit shifting. This is a government which has given a billion-dollar handout to multinational firms while cutting the wages of the cleaners who clean their offices. Labor will take a fairer approach, one that ensures a level playing field for businesses and a fair deal for Australian taxpayers. Happy to take questions.

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Hockey's spin bill spinning out of control

Senate Estimates always reveals one or two key facts about what the government has been up to. Today was no exception...

MEDIA RELEASE

HOCKEY'S SPIN BILL SPINNING OUT OF CONTROL

The Abbott Government has spent at least $650,000 of taxpayer money to work out how to spin its long-overdue Tax White Paper.

This news was revealed today in Senate Estimates, and comes on top of the discovery that the government is gearing up to spend over $300,000 on advertising for the Intergenerational Report.

The Tax White Paper was set to be released in December but the Abbott Government has been sitting on it since then. 

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Keeping the ACNC opens the door to real reform - Pro Bono Australia

Last week I joined NSW Deputy Opposition Leader Linda Burney in announcing that a future Foley Labor Government would sign New South Wales up to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. In this piece for Pro Bono Australia, I've looked at why that's exactly the kind of practical red-tape reform Australian charities will benefit from. 

Keeping the ACNC opens the door to real reform, Pro Bono Australia, 24 February

Do you run a not-for-profit in Victoria or Queensland? What about a charity in Western Australia or Tasmania? If so, you’ll know that qualifying for state and federal charitable status means jumping through a lot of hoops. With two sets of paperwork to fill in and two bureaucracies to navigate, it can take a lot of time just to get to the point where you can actually start helping your community.

That’s why I was pleased to join the NSW Opposition last week in announcing that a future Foley Labor Government would sign that state up to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. By aligning the New South Wales state rules with the national scheme, this decision would make life much easier for over 18,000 charities across the state.

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Getting the balance right on national security - Fairfax Breaking Politics

On a day when the Prime Minister laid out his government's approach on national security, I joined Fairfax Breaking Politics to talk about the importance of keeping Australians safe while maintaining a balance between freedoms and protections. Here's the transcript:

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

ONLINE INTERVIEW

BREAKING POLITICS

MONDAY, 23 FEBRUARY 2015

SUBJECT/S: National security

HAMMER: Andrew Laming is the Liberal MP for Bowman in Queensland and Andrew Leigh is the Labor Member for Fraser here in the ACT. Gentlemen, good morning. Ok, national security is clearly the topic of the day. Andrew Laming to you first, the prominent lawyer Julian Burnside has more or less accused the Prime Minister of playing the terror card because of his political standing. He wants to bolster his standing so he's trying to impart fear into the community about terrorism. Now, there will be an element of society that is sceptical about the Prime Minister's motives on this. So how do you convince them that he's doing this for genuine reasons rather than pure political ones?

ANDREW LAMING, FEDERAL MEMBER FOR BOWMAN: I don't believe I have to convince anyone. Australians in the main concede that we've faced a period of heightened and long term terror alert and they'd expect any government, both sides of politics, to respond accordingly. That's why he's saying bipartisan support is important, certainly around these increased efforts and increased resourcing. It's a very complex issue, there are no easy solutions and so the Prime Minister's address today really sets the stage for what I think will be a series of small but significant changes to keep Australia a more secure nation and one that is able to respond quickly, early and pre-emptively to these sort of threats.

HAMMER: Andrew Leigh, I want to ask you essentially the same question. There is scepticism in the community about Labor's stance on national security, that for political reasons Labor will simply stick like glue to whatever the government announces because that's not the area you want to fight the next election on. How do you convince people that Labor has their best interest at heart rather than your own political interests?

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Chris, there's clearly a risk of an upsurge in terrorism – resulting in large part from returning foreign fighters from Syria and Iraq. People who have been both radicalised but also learned dangerous new skills. That's why President Obama convened a high level international summit at the White House last week on the topic. The question for us is how we manage to adapt our laws to deal with the threat. I'm guided by something Justice Hope, whose 1977 Royal Commission laid the ground work for the modern ASIO, said. He said that individual liberty and public safety work together rather than in tension. We need to realise that there is a right to freedom of speech just as there is a right to get a coffee and walk about in safety. These are fundamental rights. One of the best weapons we have against extremism is our values, our status as a modern pluralist democracy.

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Penalty rates based on family values - Hobart Mercury

There are worrying signs from the Abbott Government that it will use the Productivity Commission's industrial relations inquiry to undermine penalty rates for casual workers. In this piece for the Hobart Mercury, Brendan O'Connor and I explain why protecting penalty rates protects more than just the wages of low-paid workers.

Penalty rates based on family values, Hobart Mercury, 23 February

When was the last time you planned your child’s birthday party for a Monday morning? Went to a christening on Tuesday? Invited friends to your house for a BBQ lunch on a Wednesday?

If the answer is ‘hardly ever’, then you’re a beneficiary of one of the greatest social inventions of humankind: the weekend.

In economic jargon, weekends help solve a coordination problem. If you’re planning to invite fifty guests to your wedding, it helps if there’s a common time that they’re unlikely to be working. 

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Signing NSW up to the national charities commission - Doorstop, 18 February

A truly national scheme for charities regulation has come one step closer, as I joined Deputy NSW Opposition Leader Linda Burney and Shadow Minister for Fair Trading Tania Mihailuk to announce that a Foley Labor Government would sign New South Wales up to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. Here's the transcript:

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

DOORSTOP INTERVIEW

NSW PARLIAMENT, SYDNEY

WEDNESDAY, 18 FEBRUARY 2015

SUBJECT/S: NSW Labor signing up to Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

LINDA BURNEY, NSW DEPUTY OPPOSITION LEADER: Thank you for coming. I'm joined today by Andrew Leigh, the federal Shadow Assistant Treasurer, and Tania Mihailuk, the Shadow Minister for Fair Trading here in New South Wales. Today we're announcing that a Foley-led Labor Government would sign up to the national charities commission. This commission was put in place by Labor in 2012 and its role is to make things simpler for charities across Australia. A Labor government, led by Luke Foley in New South Wales, commits itself to being part of the charities commission, and to allow charities in New South Wales to have less paperwork. This means they can concentrate more on what they should be doing, and that's being out there working in the community. I'll ask Andrew Leigh to make some more comments now.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Thanks very much Linda, and it's a real pleasure to join Linda Burney and Tania Mihailuk for this important announcement. The charities commission isn't a partisan idea; it's an institution which protects donors, taxpayers and charities. The announcement that a Foley Labor Government will sign up to the charities commission is great news for the 18,000 charities in New South Wales. It means they can spend less time doing paperwork, and more time helping the vulnerable and building social capital in our community. I'd now call on the federal Minister for Social Services, Scott Morrison, to bring the charities commission out of the Twilight Zone. He appears to have a policy of scrapping the charities commission, but then on the other hand says that scrapping it isn't near the top of his agenda. So he ought to come on board. He ought to sign up to support the charities commission, to stand on the side of charities and against scammers, who are the only ones who have anything to fear from the charities commission. Tania, did you want to say a few words as well?

TANIA MIHAILUK, NSW SHADOW MINISTER FOR FAIR TRADING: We're delighted to be joined here by Andrew Leigh today, and to make it very clear that a Foley-led Labor Government will support charities only having to deal with one organisation through the national regulatory scheme. It is difficult for charities when they get caught up jumping through bureaucratic hoops, filling out double the paperwork when they shouldn't have to. We want charities focused on what they do best, and that is supporting people that need their help.

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