Only Labor will get tough with multinational tax avoidance - Transcript, Doorstop

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

DOORSTOP

PARLIAMENT HOUSE

THURSDAY, 28 JUNE 2018

SUBJECTS: Malcolm Turnbull’s lack of action on tax havens, the Government’s war on charities, company tax.
 
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning. My name is Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer.
 
We know that Malcolm Turnbull has been soft on the big end of town, but again yesterday in Question Time he claimed that his multinational anti-avoidance laws had raised significant revenue for the government. Last time Malcolm Turnbull made a claim like this, we had to write to the Tax Commissioner to find out the truth. So yesterday, I did that again. I’ve written formally to the Tax Commissioner to find out precisely how much revenue the Liberals’ multinational tax laws have raised.
 
We know that the Liberals have a history of telling porkies on multinational tax. They claimed credit for the Chevron judgement, which added $300 million to the budget, despite the fact that they had voted against those very laws in the parliament. And we’ve seen the Liberals again and again oppose Labor’s sensible measures to close multinational tax loopholes.

Now Labor’s serious about cracking down on tax havens. We would have firms doing business in tax havens disclose that to shareholders, significant tenderers disclose their country of tax domicile. We’d have public country-by-country reporting and we’d work with superannuation funds to make sure they develop guidelines for tax haven investments.
 
Only Labor will get tough with multinational tax avoidance. Frankly, if Malcolm Turnbull wanted to get tough on multinational tax avoidance, he could. He’s pretty experienced in the issues of tax havens, but he’s simply not willing to take on the big end of town.
 
In another issue, we’ve now got Michael Sukkar having sat on a report for the ACNC review since the end of May. The Government has waged a war on charities, trying to shut down the charities commission, appointing a charities critic as head of the charities commission and attacking the ability of charities to work with international partners on public advocacy. Michael Sukkar should not be leaving Australian charities in the dark over winter. He should release that report into the charities commission so Australia's charities know exactly what the Government has in store for them.
 
Happy to take questions on that or any other topics of the day.
 
JOURNALIST: Why did Bill Shorten announce Labor policy in a one-word answer?
 
LEIGH: I don't go speak about internal matters, but I do know that you'd have to be living under a rock if you think that Labor would support big business tax cuts. We've been arguing forcefully for tax cuts to be directed to middle to Australia, not to overseas shareholders.
 
JOURNALIST: How big of a challenge will it be for Labor voters to convince companies with a turnover of more than $2 million to vote for them?
 
LEIGH: Nine out of ten companies are getting the same tax cut under Labor. The majority of voters are getting a bigger personal income tax cut under Labor. And all voters will see debt paid down faster, and their schools and hospitals better funded under Labor. We hit the trifecta in terms of investing in services, delivering affordable personal income tax cuts, and paying debt down faster.
 
JOURNALIST: So you don't think it will be a challenge?
 
LEIGH: I believe Labor has a strong offering at the next election. We're ready to fight that election anytime.
 
JOURNALIST: Some Labor MPs have told the ABC that if the $20 billion gained from repealing the tax cuts funds bigger income tax cuts, all will be forgiven. Is that some that you agree with?
 
LEIGH: I haven't seen those reports, but Labor is committed to fiscal discipline. We understand we need to pay down debt in order to make sure we are ready for the next financial global downturn. We don't believe that we ought to be spending $80 billion on a corporate tax cut, $17 billion of which goes to the big banks facing a Royal Commission. That's not sensible economic management, and it is not good for equity in Australia.
 
No more questions? Thanks everyone.
 
ENDS
 
Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra


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