TAX OFFICE REPORT SHOWS IT’S TIME FOR TURNBULL TO GET TOUGH ON MULTINATIONAL TAX AVOIDANCE - Media Release
TAX OFFICE REPORT SHOWS IT’S TIME FOR TURNBULL TO GET TOUGH ON MULTINATIONAL TAX AVOIDANCE
Despite new figures showing more than 1 in 3 large firms pay no tax, the Turnbull Government still believes that cutting company tax rates should be Australia’s top economic priority.
Today’s data is for the 2014/15 tax year. They cover public and foreign-owned companies with total income of $100 million or more and Australian-owned private companies with total income of $200 million or more.
This report, covering 1904 companies in total, is only available thanks to Labor’s tax transparency laws, which passed the parliament in 2013 over the objections of the Coalition.Read more
TIM HAMMOND MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CONSUMER AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING FOR RESOURCES
MEMBER FOR PERTH
ANDREW LEIGH MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMPETITION AND PRODUCTIVITY
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CHARITIES AND NOT-FOR-PROFITS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE IN SERVICES
MEMBER FOR FENNER
SCOTT MORRISON NEEDS TO LISTEN TO LABOR AND HIS OWN EXPERTS
Labor welcomes the release of the Productivity Commission’s interim report into Consumer Law Enforcement and Administration.
It is the most recent example of expert support for Labor’s policy to increase penalties for companies that breach the Australian Consumer Law.
In April this year, Rod Sims, Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, said;
“(W)e do have general concern about penalties under the Australian Consumer Law as not being adequate to give the right amount of deterrence.”
In May, Labor announced that we would bring the penalties in-line with the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and:
“(R)aise the maximum penalties from $1.1 million to $10 million because scammers and shonks shouldn’t be able to profit from ripping off Australian consumers”.Read more
‘EXPLAINING THE RISE OF AUSTRALIAN INEQUALITY’
JUST IDEAS TALK #2
PER CAPITA’S REFORM AGENDA SERIES
MONDAY, 5 DECEMBER 2016
***CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY***
There are many forms of inequality, but perhaps the starkest is the difference between those who own no assets and earn their living by selling their labour – and those who earn vast assets, and can live off the proceeds.
Between these two extremes lies home ownership. It’s not a perfect marker, but if you don’t own a home, it’s likely you live by the sweat of your brow. Conversely, if you’re living off your investments, it’s a pretty good bet you own your home.
At the end of World War II, Australia was a nation where just 53 percent of households owned their homes. In the major cities, the figure was just 46 percent. Most city-dwellers rented. And most homes were made of wood or fibro cement.
Then in the post-war years, something remarkable happened. The Australian home ownership rate surged. By 1954, it was up to 63 percent. By 1961, it was 70 percent. In just over a decade, the distribution of Australian housing wealth became significantly more equal.
It wasn’t just homes. Shared prosperity in the post-war decades meant cars became cheaper. By the 1960s, most Australian homes had a vacuum cleaner, a washing machine, a television and a fridge – items that in the pre-war era were only owned by the most affluent. Even access to university was shared. For someone like my grandfather Keith Leigh, attending Melbourne University would have been impossible on a modest clergyman’s wage. Only a post-war veteran’s scholarship made it feasible.
The intellectual seeds for these changes were sown in John Curtin’s white paper on full employment, and his clearly professed view that ‘there will have to be a fairer distribution of wealth’.
But the surprising thing is what happened next.Read more
RN BREAKFAST WITH FRAN KELLY
MONDAY, 5 DECEMBER 2016
SUBJECT/S: Widening inequality in Australia; levels of home ownership; value of unions
FRAN KELLY: The widening between the rich and the poor manifests itself in different ways around the world. Here in Australia the marker between the haves and the have-nots is fast becoming whether you've managed to get your foot on the property ladder or not. That's just one of the drivers of rising inequality in this country according to Labor's Assistant Treasurer, economist Andrew Leigh. Later today he'll give the second of three speeches he's written on inequality, in which he'll also identify Australia's tax system, falling union membership and increased market concentration as factors behind the widening gap between the rich and poor in Australia. Andrew Leigh, welcome back to RN Breakfast.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Thanks Fran, great to be with you.
KELLY: Before we get to the reasons why inequality is on the rise in this country, let's get some perspective here. Because the gap between rich and poor in Australia is nothing like that in the US where CEO pay has skyrocketed and some states don't even have mandated minimum wage. Here in Australia we have a high minimum wage, a comprehensive welfare system, a national health scheme, and a state pension system. What really do we have to worry about?
LEIGH: You're right to say that inequality here isn't as bad as in the United States, but certainly if you look across the advanced world we're in the top third of the most unequal countries. We're a nation where inequality has risen markedly over the course of the last generation. The top one per cent's share has doubled; earnings have risen three times as fast for those at the top of the distribution like financial dealers and anaesthetists, compared to those at the bottom like cleaners and check-out workers. And that great egalitarian-
KELLY: So the rich are getting richer is the point?
LEIGH: They are indeed. You're right to say that, unlike the United States, it hasn't been true that the middle has completely stagnated, but we're a nation that prides ourself on our egalitarianism. A nation where we like sitting in the front seat of taxis, we don't much like tipping, we don't have private areas on the beaches. Egalitarianism is central to the notion of what it is to be Australian. And that's why it really matters that that egalitarian ethos is under threat from this continual rise in inequality we've seen.Read more
The Turnbull Government has added competition reform policy to its 2016 list of failures and broken promises by reneging on the commitment it made in its response to the Harper Review to “unleash the spirit of competition”.
This time last year new Treasurer Scott Morrison was describing competition reform as:
“one of the best options we have to boost growth and productivity in the years ahead, and this is why it’s at the heart of the Government’s economic plan.”
Now it has abandoned its support for the funding altogether until the budget “is in better shape”.
This leaves only Barnaby Joyce’s “effects test” – which will have a chilling effect on competition and drive up the cost of living for Australian families – as the Coalition's signature competition reform.
This absurd focus on the effects test, according to Productivity Commission Chairman Peter Harris, demonstrates how far Australia has, ‘fallen off the pace in national economic reform.’Read more
The day after Labor announced that the Senate Economics Committee will inquire into the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax, the Turnbull Government has hastily announced an “independent” Treasury review into the same issue.
As with the multinational tax debate, the Coalition is scrambling to follow Labor's lead. Labor's 2015-16 multinational tax inquiry, chaired first by Senator Dastyari and then by Senator Ketter, shone a critical spotlight on multinational tax avoidance and forced the Government to take action.
Now we see the same pattern with the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax – Labor leads and the Turnbull Government is dragged reluctantly in our wake.Read more
By failing to introduce into Parliament its Diverted Profits Tax legislation by the end of this year, Treasurer Scott Morrison has broken yet another Turnbull Government promise.
On June 27 this year, Mr Morrison said:
“The DPT will be introduced in the second half of 2016.”
Later in the year, Mr Morrison said:
"We have budget revenue measures which are about improving the integrity of the tax base – there’ll be our diverted profits tax legislation which comes in later in the year.”
– Scott Morrison, 20 October 2016, 3mins 39secs.
However, yesterday Mr Morrison confirmed that the diverted profits tax will not be introduced in 2016.
The delay matters because the Treasurer is still promising his diverted profits tax will commence on 1 July 2017. It will be a huge and complicated impost for businesses to prepare in the short time between its passage through Parliament – if it ever gets there – and its implementation.
WEDNESDAY, 30 NOVEMBER 2016
MEDIA CONTACT: TAIMUS WERNER-GIBBINGS 0437 323 390
The Cost Of Inequality Can't Be Priced In Dollar Terms, Huffington Post, Monday, 28 November 2016
Why should we care about inequality? The starting point is to acknowledge what economics lecturers everywhere teach their first years. Economics is about maximising wellbeing, not money. If one person had all the money in Australia, we’d be just as wealthy, but much less happy.
Globally, there are about one billion people who live on less than a dollar a day. Most of it goes on keeping hunger at bay. But then there are about 1800 people who have more than a billion dollars. For them, more money means a faster jet, fancier jewellery or another holiday home. If you believe that moving a person from $1 a day to $2 a day brings more happiness than giving a billionaire another dollar, then you’ve accepted the idea of diminishing marginal utility of money. There is no better argument for caring about inequality.
Putting numbers around this can be tricky, but an analysis by Lateral Economics finds that to get the same increase in life satisfaction, you either have to give someone on $15,000 another $6000, or someone on $100,000 another $100,000. Lateral Economics estimates that the cost of inequality to national wellbeing is the equivalent of $54 billion, making it a bigger problem than mental illness, obesity or long-term unemployment.Read more
'The party that has always stood for needs-based funding for schools is the Labor Party' - TV Transcript
SKY AM AGENDA WITH KIERAN GILBERT
MONDAY, 28 NOVEMBER 2016
SUBJECT/S: Education funding; Senator Brandis’ shonky deals; Ipsos poll
KIERAN GILBERT: Joining me now the Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Andrew Leigh. This Grattan Report, I want to start with your thoughts on that. It seems to me to be a no-brainer – that you can have the same funding envelope, achieve the aims that the Gonski reforms intended without all of the additional costs simply by reining in some of the over-funding of just three per cent of schools?
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Kieran, Pete Goss has done a lot of careful work on this report – it's certainly something that Labor will be engaging with. I had the privilege of seeing a draft copy of the report last week and I think it’s a thoughtful contribution. Obviously we'll work through it methodically. We need to make sure that the schools that need the resources get them, and that was what a good part of the last election was fought over. Labor's plan for funding schools where they needed it versus the Coalition's plan for a $50,000,000,000 corporate tax giveaway.
GILBERT: But the government's also taking it seriously as we heard from Minister Birmingham there. If you've got some schools with 280 per cent of the funding required per student, surely there needs a re-think in that regard?Read more
Companies that lie must be hit harder, Herald Sun, 28 November 2016
When it comes to household brands, who do you trust? That’s the question Australians were asked earlier this year as part of a Reader’s Digest survey. The top three were vacuum cleaner manufacturer Dyson, and battery makers Energizer and Duracell. But what’s more interesting is who came in at number four: paint manufacturer, Dulux.
Unfortunately, Dulux’s time atop the trust list might be short-lived. Earlier this month, the company was fined $400,000 by the Federal Court for misleading its customers. Dulux claimed that its outdoor paint could reduce the temperature of a house by up to 10 degrees.
If true, Dulux’s outdoor paint would’ve been a cool product indeed. Unfortunately, as soon as the temperature rose on Dulux, their claims began to peel away. When they couldn’t brush off the criticisms any longer, Dulux admitted that they didn’t have the evidence.
Alas, Dulux is not the first coat in Australian false advertising. Every year the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission receives 14,000 complaints of misleading and deceptive conduct. The competition watchdog can only take a small share of these complaints to court. The list of companies that have been reprimanded by the competition watchdog or the Federal Court over the last 12 months reads like the ‘who’s who’ of big companies, including Jetstar, Virgin, Arnott’s, Uncle Tobys, Optus, Harvey Norman franchisees, Kogan, Nurofen, Unilever and Volkswagen.Read more