RICHARD DI NATALE’S GREENS: COALITION PARTNERS IN GUTTING TAX TRANSPARENCY
Joint Media Release with Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen
Richard Di Natale’s Greens have today teamed up with the Liberal Government to help Australia’s richest companies keep their tax dealings secret, selling out ordinary Australian taxpayers in the process.
In a closed-door deal between Richard Di Natale and Scott Morrison overnight, the Greens have walked away from reinstating tax transparency for private companies earning over $100 million. They will instead team up to double this threshold to $200 million.
With a $100 million threshold, the transparency laws would apply to about 900 private firms. Now the Greens are siding with the Government to exempt two thirds of those companies.
Two weeks ago the Greens voted with Labor and members of the Senate crossbench to ensure this transparency requirement was added to the Government’s multinational tax bill. Two weeks ago Richard Di Natale’s party stood with us in ensuring big companies would be held to account for paying their fair share of tax.
The Government was so committed to shielding big companies from scrutiny that they threatened to dump their entire multinational tax bill if the Senate insisted on these amendments. This was clearly an empty negotiating tactic but Richard Di Natale fell for it hook, line and sinker.
If the Greens had not wilted like week-old kale, the Government would have had no choice but to pass this bill with the transparency amendments included. This would have been the best outcome for the Australian community and tax fairness. Instead, the Greens have delivered the Government the votes they need to gut tax transparency.
Richard Di Natale’s decision is a repudiation of the hard work his own senators have done in recent weeks and months to protect tax transparency and ensure big companies are held accountable. The Australian community and the Greens’ own members will be rightly outraged by the new leader’s capitulation in the face of pressure from the Government. Perhaps it is appropriate that yesterday marked the six-year anniversary of the Greens joining with the Liberals to vote down the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.
Labor stands for tax transparency. We have consistently said that companies earning more than $100 million a year should be subject to public scrutiny to ensure they’re paying their fair share of tax.
Until last night, the Greens believed that too. What a difference one night in the Treasurer’s office makes.
THURSDAY, 3 DECEMBER 2015