Havens bleeding the global tax system dry - Transcript, Doorstop





Subjects: Labor’s commitment to fund an ongoing tax clinic in Townsville, Eastern Australian Irrigation, Clive Palmer, Facebook and Google tax bills.

CATHY O’TOOLE, MEMBER FOR HERBERT: It's really great to be here this morning with Dr Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer, at James Cook University with Van as well. Andrew is going to talk to you this morning about a wonderful initiative that Labor has for a tax clinic. It will create an enormous opportunity for our students here to practice tax law. It will be with industry. It will be one of the best opportunities young people get to put their studies into practice and this is a valuable announcement for our community here in Townsville. And I'll just hand over to Andrew.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Thanks, Cathy. There’s no more ferocious fighter for Townsville than Cathy O’Toole. She’s been arguing very strongly that James Cook University should receive this funding for an ongoing tax clinic. Labor's tax clinic policy was announced last year ahead of the government. It’s not for a set of trials - it's for ongoing funding, $150,000 apiece for ten tax clinics across Australia. We're delighted to announce that one of those tax clinics will be right here at James Cook University, headed by Van Le. 

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Labor will help Townsville taxpayers - Media Release


A Shorten Labor Government will ensure that Townsville residents get the help they need to navigate the tax system by funding a tax clinic at James Cook University. 

Labor will commit $150,000 annually to help establish the Townsville-based initiative, as part of Labor’s proposed expansion of 10 tax clinics around Australia. 

Multinationals and millionaires can afford an armada of experts to navigate the tax system. But low and middle-income Australians are often intimidated by the tax system, and unsure where to turn to get help. 

While Scott Morrison carves out chaotic deals with Clive Palmer - a man whose private jet was registered in a tax haven - Labor is committed to working with everyday Australians.

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Clearing the road for Maitland motorists - Media Release


Car owners and independent mechanics in Maitland will have a smoother ride under a Shorten Labor Government with plans to make timely access to technical information a reality.

Whether you drive a Jazz or a Jaguar, everyone should be able to choose where they get their car fixed. But independent repairers are being driven to despair by their inability to get fair access to the data and software upgrades they need.

As Australian drivers make the switch to electric vehicles and their myriad of onboard computers, this issue will become increasingly important. 

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Paterson wants a fair go and few loopholes - Media Release


Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh and Member for Paterson Meryl Swanson held a tax fairness forum in Raymond Terrace today to tackle the Liberals’ scare campaign.

Under Labor’s 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 be exempt from these changes, 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 Paterson because we believe in an Australia with real wage growth, and income tax cuts directed towards the battlers that need them. We believe in a nation with better schools and hospitals and fewer tax loopholes that favour the top end of town.

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Labor has done the hard work and is ready to govern - Transcript, Doorstop


SUBJECTS: Labor’s plan to help boost Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander entrepreneurship; Labor’s Pensioner Dental Plan; Labor’s plan to make childcare more affordable. 

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning. My name is Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer. I'm delighted to be here at the University of Canberra with the Labor candidate for Canberra Alicia Payne, who is also a former researcher here at the University of Canberra at NATSEM. And with Peter Radoll - Peter and I worked together at another university a bit down the road. Peter in spearheading the Indigenous programs here has been tremendously important not just for helping to close the gap within the University of Canberra, but also in playing a leadership role nationally.

The University of Canberra punches above its weight when it comes to Indigenous programs. Tom Calma, the Chancellor, has led a university which is looking to engage right across the spectrum. My youngest son Zachary was in the Wiradjuri early learning centre here in the University of Canberra. On the walls of the Wiradjuri centre are the photographs of two men, Gough Whitlam and Vincent Lingiari. No child leaves Wiradjuri without knowing the stories of both men. The University of Canberra also has important programs in ensuring that it attracts and retains more Indigenous students. This is absolutely vital as we look to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in areas such as employment and education when presently the Closing the Gap targets are not on track.

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A capital investment in Indigenous innovation - Media Release


A Shorten Labor Government will provide $600,000 to support a new program aimed at championing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s innovation and business in Canberra.

The funding will help establish the University of Canberra’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Entrepreneurs Program, which will see students working alongside entrepreneurs and community leaders to develop skills and start their own businesses.

This program will continue the University of Canberra’s strong record of championing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and aligns with the University’s Reconciliation Action Plan 2018-2020.

The program will be funded as part of Labor’s $174 million commitment to boost equity and participation in higher education. We know that 34 per cent of Indigenous Australians have post-school qualifications compared to 54 per cent of non-Indigenous Australians.

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Superannuation investors back Labor’s pay transparency policy - Media Release


Labor welcomes the call by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors for CEO pay ratio disclosure.

In their newly released roadmap for better corporate accountability, the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors state:

“Companies should be required to disclose the ratio of their CEO’s pay to that of their median Australian worker, and to explain how this is consistent with the company’s values, strategy and culture. This information would benefit a wide range of stakeholders, including workers, the public, investors, government and regulators. Similar measures were recently introduced in the UK and US.”

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The sensible centre: Finding the right path for taxes, wages, and climate policy - Op Ed, APPS Policy Forum


APPS Policy Forum, 24 April 2019

In March, journalist David Speers asked senior Liberal Party frontbencher Linda Reynolds, “Do you agree that flexibility in wages and keeping wages at modest levels is a deliberate feature of our economic architecture?” A reasonable question.

“No, absolutely not,” replied Reynolds. “For Bill Shorten to even suggest that –”

“I’m quoting Mathias Cormann,” Speers pointed out.

It was a telling moment for the Coalition. Their economic message was so out of touch with reality that it had become a caricature of itself. Even one of their senior figures couldn’t tell the difference between actual Coalition policy and what she thought was an absurd exaggeration. It didn’t need a scare campaign – the policy was a horror show all of its own.

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A fairer deal for Melbourne hotels - Media Release


Today, Andrew Leigh joined Labor candidate for Chisholm, Jennifer Yang, in Box Hill to discuss how Melbourne hotels will benefit from Labor’s plans to outlaw price parity clauses.   

Labor will always put the health of small businesses ahead of the profits of big multinationals. Labor has a plan to back in taxpayers and everyday Australian workers over tax avoiders and the big end of town.   

Tourism is vital to Melbourne's economy, yet too much of the money spent in local hotels is flowing offshore to online booking platforms, meaning less money for Australian businesses and higher prices for all travellers.  

Price parity clauses prevent Australian hotels from advertising that travellers can get a better deal by booking directly. 

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Tax havens causing real problems - Transcript, 2GB Money News





SUBJECTS: Barnaby Joyce’s $80 million water buy back; Labor’s plans to crack down on tax havens; Facebook scare campaigns; negative gearing; Labor’s plans to give everyday Australians a pay rise.

HOST: Somebody who’s always great with his time here on Money News, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh, who is on the line right now. Many thanks for your time, Andrew. 


HOST: Look. I want to start in regards to Labor today giving a hint that it might set up a royal commission into water buybacks under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. Now it's interesting, I had a yarn with Clive Palmer a week or so ago and there's two areas that he says he believes with all of his advertising he's gaining votes. One is in the very north of Queensland, in the coal mining areas where Adani is controversial, and of course the CFMEU is urging Labor to get on with building Adani. The other place he says is in the Murray-Darling Basin, where he believes he's actually taking votes off the Nationals. Why would a royal commission into water buybacks be so important for Australia?

LEIGH: We need to first see where the department comes back to with regard to the questions that we've asked. As Tony Burke said, we've put a number of questions to the department about why they seem to have paid Versace prices for a Reject Shop product. It looks as though they've been not only dealing with a company headquartered in notorious tax haven, the Cayman Islands, but also on the face of it significantly overpaying. We've said to the department we want answers on that within the next 24 hours and certainly a royal commission remains on the table.

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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | Andrew.Leigh.MP@aph.gov.au | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.