WHY DO THE LIBERALS WANT TO PROTECT TAX HAVENS?
Recent media coverage about a mysterious company in the notorious Cayman Islands has put tax havens back in the headlines.
Globally, around $600 billion of profits are estimated to be shifted to tax havens like the Cayman Islands and Bermuda,representing almost 40 per cent of multinational profits. Bizarrely, Bahamas companies now rank as the fifth-largest foreign owner of Australian farmland.
Tax havens not only undermine the Australian tax system – they are used to hide the proceeds of fraud, corruption and tax evasion. According to one estimate, around four-fifths of money in offshore bank accounts is there in breach of other countries’ tax laws.
At this Federal election, voters are entitled to ask where the major parties stand on tax havens.Read more
VIAGOGO GUILTY OF MISLEADING PUNTERS WITH TICKET SCAMS
The Federal Court has today found that Viagogo breached Australian Consumer Law by misleading the public while reselling entertainment, music and live sport event tickets on its website.
The Court found Viagogo intentionally misled Australian consumers by claiming tickets to certain events were “scarce” and stated claims like “less than 1 per cent tickets remaining” to create a false sense of urgency for the consumer.
Labor welcomes this decision by the Federal Court and applauds the ACCC in holding the multinational accountable to Australian law.
We have already announced action against dodgy ticket scalping, and reselling practices which lock fans out of major events.Read more
WEDNESDAY, 17 APRIL 2019
SUBJECTS: The Liberals’ cuts to health, Labor’s Cancer Plan, the environment.
ELIDA FAITH, LABOR CANDIDATE FOR LEICHHARDT: Good morning. My name is Elida Faith and I’m the Labor candidate for Leichhardt. I’m here today with Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh and Queensland paramedic Jen Miran. We’re outside the Cairns Hospital. Our hospital has seen $7.2 million in cuts from this LNP Government. Let's not forget that the Cairns Hospital doesn't just serve as the Cairns and the hinterland, it reaches as far as the Torres Strait and the Cape. We have dedicated doctors, nurses, hospital workers and paramedics that are under-resourced and overworked. Now, I've been hearing a lot of stories, people have been sharing with me what their experiences have been and they have been absolutely heartbreaking and infuriating. It is not okay that a 69-year-old woman has to sit in the emergency department for three and a half hours with her 91-year-old mother. It is not ok that our paramedics are sitting in the halls of the emergency department, waiting to transfer their patients, instead of being out in the community saving lives.
Now I know that Warren Entsch has been here this morning and I hope he looked every single worker and patient in the eye and told them why tax cuts to the big end of town is more important than their jobs and quality health care at the hospital. Now we know the LNP, in order to give tax cuts to the big end of town, has to cut services by $40 billion a year every year by 2030. And I want to know from Warren Entsch today just how much of that $40 billion in cuts is going to come out of our Cairns Hospital, because our hospital cannot stand any more cuts. I'd like to hand over to Andrew now.Read more
Diamonds, Dynamite and Distrust: How Transparency Can Help Rebuild Public Confidence - Speech, Melbourne
DIAMONDS, DYNAMITE AND DISTRUST: HOW TRANSPARENCY CAN HELP REBUILD PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
KPMG, THE GROUP 100 & WOLTERS KLUWER CONFERENCE: ‘WITHOUT TRANSPARENCY, THERE IS NO TRUST’
TUESDAY, 16 APRIL 2019
I acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation, on whose lands we gather today and pay my respect to their elders. Thanks to Andrew Porter and Stephen Woodhill for bringing together this conversation and to KPMG Chairman Alison Kitchen and the team at KPMG for their hospitality. It’s great to be in Melbourne. I started my day running around the Tan this morning, and at one point realised that there were four people around me, all clad head-to-toe in black. A very Melbourne moment.
You’ve asked me to speak today on trust and transparency, so my focus will be not only on the choice ahead for Australia on May 18, but also on the long-term challenge for business and government of boosting the strength of our civic society.
Capital is a familiar concept to economists: it’s an asset that produces a valuable return. A return to capital is why governments look to encourage physical capital investment, it’s why Labor is going into the election with an Australian Investment Guarantee and an ambitious infrastructure plan. Human capital is another kind of asset that produces a return. It's why Labor is advocating stronger investment in early childhood, in schools, in apprenticeships and in universities.
A third kind capital is social capital. This is the notion that the ties that bind us together have an inherent value - that there is as a an economic return from those networks of trust and reciprocity. This is self-evidently true in our own lives. Each of us know that a life lived together is a better life. But it's also true in markets. One of my favourite examples is the diamond markets, which demonstrate the two polar extremes of trust.Read more
FAIRFAX WANTS A FAIR GO AND FEWER TAX LOOPHOLES
Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh and Labor candidate for Fairfax Julie McGlone held a tax fairness forum in Fairfax last night to tackle the Liberals’ scare campaign.
Under our changes to dividend imputation, no one will pay a single cent more income tax. No one will lose anything from their super contributions. No one will lose anything from their pension. No one will lose their dividends.
Pensioners will not be affected, and people will still be able to reduce their tax burden by using franking credits, but only if they pay income tax in the first place.
Labor has a plan to deliver a fair go for Fairfax because we believe in an Australia with real wage growth and income tax cuts directed towards the battlers that need them; a nation with better schools and hospitals; and fewer tax loopholes that favour the top end of town.Read more
A FAIRER DEAL FOR CAIRNS HOTELS
Today, Andrew Leigh joined Labor candidate for Leichhardt, Elida Faith, in Cairns to discuss how Cairns hotels will benefit from Labor’s plans to outlaw price parity clauses.
Tourism is vital to the Cairns economy, yet too much of the money spent in local hotels is flowing offshore to online booking platforms.
Price parity clauses prevent Australian hotels from advertising that travellers can get a better deal by booking directly.
This has the effect of channelling bookings through the two major online booking platforms, which have a combined market share of 84 per cent and take up to 30 per cent of the total hotel bill. This means 30 per cent of the hotel bill is going offshore - to people who don’t change the sheets, don’t wash the towels and don’t mop the floors.Read more
MONDAY, 15 APRIL 2019
SUBJECTS: Labor’s plans for a fairer Australia; Healthcare funding.
PATRICIA KARVELAS: To talk through some of these issues I'm joined by a panel and you won't expect this, so keep listening. Nicki Hutley is a partner at Deloitte Access Economics, responsible for the report and the Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh has agreed to join us to answer questions on what they've come up with. Welcome to both of you.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: G’day, Patricia. Great to be with you.
NICKI HUTLEY, DELOITTE ACCESS ECONOMICS: Thank you.
KARVELAS: So Nicki, I’ll start with you. Deloitte is arguing that Labor's policies would lower economic growth eventually by a third of a percent. Can you take me through the rationale that got you there?
HUTLEY: Yes, so I think it's important to know that there's a whole load of explanatory, you know, suggestions accompanying that number and what it is, what it is based on is saying that on the basis of tax policy alone that would be the impact on the economy. So compared to what the Coalition are offering, the Opposition are saying that they will have fewer tax cuts in the hands of people - so those tranches that the Coalition are promising to higher income earners, particularly further out at this stage not going ahead although they do have more at the lower end of the spectrum, and there are another raft of generous tax concessions that will be pulled back, in the form of negative gearing and franking credits and so on. And as a general rule of thumb when you take, you know - we are comparing two scenarios of one versus the other and saying that compared to the Coalition policies the higher amounts of tax collected have a negative impact on on the economy. But that said, there are a lot of other factors that are not taken into account and it's important to consider those things when we look at the picture as a whole. But of course people do tend to grab the headline.
KARVELAS: Andrew, what's your response to this analysis from Deloitte? Do you accept that there will be an economic cost from these revenue raising measures?
LEIGH: No I don't Patricia. This was a report that came out last month. There's no detail in the report as to how it's arrived at this figure of a third of a percentage point. That's just a one liner on page five and it looks only at the tax impact. So we don't accept that that's the impact of our bigger, better, fairer tax cuts in the economy - we actually think they'll have a stronger growth benefit. The report doesn't even look at the benefits for the Australian economy of Labor's spending on infrastructure, our spending on healthcare, our spending on education. If you uncap university places, get 200,000 more young people to university then that's got to have a productivity gain. If you put in place our competition reforms, that'll have a big gain. If you have a bit of stability in political leadership - not three prime ministers, three treasurers over six years but a stable, united government - then that will also have a growth gain. And if you ensure that you put aside those fiscal buffers which as Labor would do, paying down debt faster than the Coalition would, then you're better able to deal with a situation in which the world economy starts to wobble and we have to ensure that Australia doesn't go into recession - as the last Labor government had to do.Read more
HELPING MELBOURNIANS NAVIGATE THE TAX SYSTEM
THE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE
MONDAY, 15 APRIL 2019
I acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation and pay respect to their elders.
Thank you to Provost Mark Considine and Melbourne University Law School Dean Pip Nicholson for your hospitality. I’d particularly like to acknowledge my colleagues. Labor’s Melbourne candidate Luke Creasey is an educator and somebody who is passionate about social justice and is enthusiastic about today's announcement. Peter Khalil, a Melbourne University alumnus, an internationalist and somebody with whom I've had many conversations about the importance of providing better supports to disadvantaged members of our community. Ged Kearney, who has spent her life standing up for working people and who is one of our most thoughtful voices in the Labor team about how to ensure that we have public services that work for all.
I’d especially like to thank Sunita Jogarajan and Kate Fischer Doherty, whose thought leadership is bringing the tax clinic project together at the moment. This is an enormously exciting announcement for us, an announcement that a Shorten Labor Government would provide $150,000 in ongoing funding for a tax clinic here at Melbourne University. Not a one off trial, but ongoing support.Read more
LABOR TO HELP MELBOURNIANS NAVIGATE TAX SYSTEM WITH TAX CLINIC
A Shorten Labor Government will ensure that all Melbournians have help navigating the tax system by helping fund the University of Melbourne Tax Clinic.
Labor will commit $150,000 annually to the University of Melbourne Tax Clinic as part of Labor’s proposed expansion of 10 tax clinics around Australia.
While multinationals and millionaires can afford an armada of experts to navigate the tax system, low and middle-income Australians are often intimidated by the tax system, and unsure where to turn to get help.Read more
SATURDAY, 13 APRIL 2019
SUBJECTS: Labor’s $1 million in funding for the Holt District Playing Fields in Kippax.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Thanks very much for being here today. My name's Andrew Leigh, the Federal Member for Fenner. I’m enormously proud to announce that a Shorten Labor Government would contribute $1 million towards the upgrade of the facilities here at the Holt Kippax District Playing Fields. Playing fields are places where memories are made and friendships are forged. I was talking to my son Theodore on the way over and he was chatting about his favourite sporting grounds. I think we can all remember as kids the importance of those local sporting facilities.
We've got to keep on upgrading our sporting facilities, making sure that they're prepared for developments like the influx of women and girls playing AFL. The upgrade will help to serve AFL, cricket and rugby league. It will be a vital resource for the community and is part of federal Labor's commitment to improving the quality of sporting facilities. I'll hand over now to Yvette Berry and Gordon Ramsay to say a few words.Read more