Only Labor can be trusted to get tough on tax havens - Transcript, Doorstop

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

DOORSTOP

BRISBANE

THURSDAY, 1 NOVEMBER 2018

SUBJECT: Labor's plans to crack down on multinational tax dodgers.

ALI FRANCE, LABOR CANDIDATE FOR DICKSON: Good morning, it's really lovely to have Labor's Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh here today to talk to local businesses about how we're going to level the playing field and tackle multinational tax avoidance. 

Small businesses like the ones behind us, pay their fair share of tax. But we know there are big multinational companies and wealthy individuals who operate in Australia, who don't pay their fair share of tax. Labor wants to put a stop to that. So I'm now going to hand over to Andrew to talk a bit more about how that's going to work.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Well thanks so much Ali and it's great to be here with Ali France, Labor's hard-working candidate, taking our message of fairness to communities like Dickson.

Labor has a strong record on multinational tax avoidance. While we were in government we closed significant tax loopholes, adding billions of dollars to the budget bottom line. The Coalition didn't support us on many of those measures. Indeed one tax loophole we closed led to a court decision that saw Chevron pay an additional $300 million in tax. With extraordinary chutzpah, the Coalition attempted to claim credit for the Chevron decision, based on laws they had voted against.

Since the Abbott government won office in 2013, Labor has supported in the Parliament all of the significant measures the Coalition has put forward to close tax loopholes for multinationals. 

But the Coalition has failed to take up Labor's plan to add billions of dollars to the budget bottom line, through a worldwide gearing ratio, through preventing related-party firms from writing off bad debts, through closing tax loopholes that currently allow high wealth individuals to claim a tax break for flights and accommodation in tax havens. Effectively, our tax system right now allows the ultra-wealthy to claim a tax break for dodging tax. We don't think that's fair. As a result of loopholes like this, Australia under the LNP ends up having more than $20,000 per person in government debt, and the LNP say they don’t have enough money to spend on schools and hospitals. 

If we want to get government debt down, if we want to give personal income tax relief to middle income Australians, if we want to properly fund our public services, we need to  make sure multinationals pay their fair share. Only Labor can be trusted to get tough on tax havens. Only Labor can be trusted to get tough on multinational tax dodgers. 

ENDS

Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra


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