As the G20 meetings in November edge closer, it's time to get serious about Australia's response to issues like multinational tax avoidance. But so far all we've seen from Treasurer Joe Hockey is empty rhetoric. In this release I argue that it's time for the Treasurer to do more than talk:
HOCKEY MUST SIGN UP FOR MORE TAX TRANSPARENCY
Treasurer Joe Hockey is procrastinating and prevaricating on a key measure to stop multinational companies shifting profits offshore.
The Common Reporting Standard provides for the automatic exchange of financial account information between banks in different countries. It is designed to make it easier to track how money moves around the world so that governments can ensure companies pay their fair share of tax.
In August, over 40 countries joined an Early Adopters Group and committed to fast-tracking implementation of the standard from January 2016. Despite Treasurer Joe Hockey endorsing the standard after the G20 Finance Ministers meeting in February, our name was conspicuously absent from that list.
The government has already concluded consultation with business and the financial sector on implementing the reforms, and has been sitting on their submissions for almost two months.
In that time, Joe Hockey has huffed and puffed in the Parliament about tackling multinational tax avoidance but continued to stall on a key initiative that would actually achieve this.
As the current chair of the G20, it is an embarrassment that Australia has not yet signed up to this important tax measure which we helped negotiate.
It is well past time for Joe Hockey to stop dragging his feet and commit to a specific timeframe for implementing the Common Reporting Standard.
Countries beating Australia to the punch on financial transparency:
Isle of Man
British Virgin Islands
The Turks & Caicos Islands
FRIDAY, 12 SEPTEMBER 2014
MEDIA CONTACT: JENNIFER RAYNER 0428 214 856