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No need to play Agatha Christie games with the nation's charities - Op Ed, The Canberra Times

NO NEED TO PLAY AGATHA CHRISTIE GAMES WITH THE NATION'S CHARITIES

The Canberra Times, 30 June 2021

If you listen to the Morrison government talk about activist charities, you'd think they were engaged in an epidemic of lawlessness.

Yet over the past three-and-a-half years, the charities commission deregistered just two charities for breaking the law in pursuit of activist goals. With 59,000 charities in operation, that means the annual chance of a charity being deregistered for illegal activism (10 in 1 million) are about the same odds that the typical Australian will commit a murder (9 in 1 million).

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Liberals found JobKeeper for elite private schools, but not public universities - Transcript, 4BC Radio

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

4BC BREAKFAST WITH SPENCER HOWSON

TUESDAY, 29 JUNE 2021

SUBJECTS: Brisbane Grammar claiming $3 million in JobKeeper despite posting a $3.7 million surplus

SPENCER HOWSON, HOST: You've heard about businesses not paying back JobKeeper when their profits did not fall as much as predicted. Well, how would you feel about a Brisbane private school doing the same? Labor's Dr Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Charities. He's on the warpath this morning. Dr Leigh, good morning.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: G'day, Spencer, I think ‘warpath’ might be a bit much! But yes, I'm a little irked.

HOWSON: Well, with which school are you irked, and how much are you suggesting they've profited from JobKeeper?

LEIGH: Well, one of your most elite schools, Brisbane Grammar, received $3.1 million of JobKeeper last year, and that's despite the fact that its fee revenue went up rather than down. I've got no trouble with JobKeeper going to businesses that would otherwise have hit the wall or had to lay off staff, but in the case of Brisbane Grammar, it's an elite school which has a dozen tennis courts and charges nearly $30,000 a year, has its nice rowing sheds, and last year gave its headmaster a $14,000 pay rise. It doesn't seem like the kind of organization that desperately needed JobKeeper in order to stay afloat.

 

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Government doesn't have plan for vaccination, quarantine, or Australia's future - Transcript, 2SM Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

2SM MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING

TUESDAY, 29 JUNE 2021

SUBJECTS: Scott Morrison’s quarantine and vaccination failures; Intergenerational Report.

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: All right, each and every Tuesday we catch up with Andrew Leigh from Canberra. Andrew, good morning, mate. How are you?

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Terrific, Marcus. Great to chat with you.

PAUL: Yeah, you too. Look, what's happening in your neck of the woods there in the ACT? Just fill me in with what Andrew Barr and his local government are doing. Are you on lockdown as well?

LEIGH: We're on mandatory masks, Marcus, and we're what's called an orange zone. People are being encouraged to limit travel, work from home if they can. There are no cases here at the moment, but we're pretty close to Sydney so the chances of something coming through is very real.

 

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The bad, the ugly and the good - Transcript, 2CC Radio

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RADIO INTERVIEW

2CC CANBERRA LIVE WITH LEON DELANEY

WEDNESDAY, 16 JUNE 2021

SUBJECTS: Morrison Government’s failure to tackle tax havens and multinational tax dodging; Morrison Government’s crackdown on charities engaged in public debate.

LEON DELANEY, HOST: Well, we've heard a lot of talk about making multinational companies pay their fair share in tax. This is a topic that has emerged once again after a decision taken at the G7 meeting in the last few days, in order to levy taxes on companies like Facebook, Google, and other internet giants that shift their sphere of operations from one jurisdiction to another to avoid tax and the G7 nations have vowed to take steps to combat that. Somebody who's been beating this drum for some time, the Federal Member for Fenner and Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury, Shadow Assistant Minister of Charities, Andrew Leigh. Good afternoon.

ANDREW LEIGH: Good afternoon, Leon. Terrific to be characterized as a drum beater. I like that description.

DELANEY: Well, that's what you've been doing. You've been beating this particular drum for quite some time, about getting multinational companies to pay a decent share of tax. Now the basic problem is that a company like Google or Facebook or whatever can come and operate here in Australia, generate revenue here in Australia, but because the parent company is in some offshore tax haven, they have to pay fees to their parent company for intellectual property or some other such nonsense, which means they don't make any taxable profit here in Australia and hence pay little or no tax. It's a dodge isn't it?

LEIGH:  Sure is, and if you're a video game designer in Gungahlin, I know we've got a bunch of terrific local firms, then you can't headquarter yourself out of Ireland or Netherlands or the Cayman Islands. You've got to pay tax like everyone else. If you're a pay-as-you-go earner then you end up paying the regular tax rate. But multinationals have been getting away with too much for too long and the Group of Seven rich countries has finally said we need to put a floor under company taxes. It's quite a different philosophy, Leon, from the one that Scott Morrison was touting a couple of years ago when he said we had to be part of this race to the bottom in company taxes. Back then there was a race he believed in. It was a race to the bottom. Now we're actually seeing Britain and the United States looking to raise rates, and all of these rich countries putting a floor under the company taxes, which I think is a great thing for making multinationals pay their fair share.

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Time to crack down on tax havens and have multinationals pay their share - Transcript, 5AA Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

5AA MORNINGS WITH LEON BYNER

WEDNESDAY, 16 JUNE 2021

SUBJECTS: Multinational tax avoidance and tax havens; tax fairness.

LEON BYNER, HOST: Now, ever wondered how your Netflix statement bills to a company in the Netherlands and gets to you, why people who place Facebook ads are charged by a company in Ireland, and why the tiny island of the Bahamas is the sixth-largest foreign owner of Australian farmland? Bet you didn't know that, eh? Back when most multinationals produced manufactured goods, taxation was pretty straightforward: profits were taxed in the country where the goods were produced and where the firm was headquartered. But these days, firms are sneakily shifting profits into low-tax jurisdictions. Two-fifths of multinational profits now pass through tax havens and so-called investment hubs, and of course, that means that a lot of those places, I would have thought that the place where you do business is where you pay your tax. Not necessarily. I want you to meet, again, a bloke who I think is one of the finest economic minds we've got. He's the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury, Dr Andrew Leigh. Andrew, this seems to put an unfair burden on the ordinary taxpayer, doesn't it - and good morning.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: G'day, Leon. Yes, you're absolutely right. When multinationals don't pay their fair share, that doesn't take away the need to spend on schools and hospitals, it just means the shortfall has to be made up for by pay-as-you-go taxpayers and regular small businesses. Your typical Adelaide business can't hide profits in the Cayman Islands, so they end up being stung more when multinationals pay less. It's in the interest of the whole economy to make sure that multinationals pay their fair share, but I don't see very much enthusiasm about that from the current Federal Government.

 

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Making multinationals pay up - Op Ed, The Daily Telegraph

IT'S HIGH TIME TO MAKE THE BIG MULTINATIONALS PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE OF TAXES

Daily Telegraph, 16 June 2021

Ever wondered why your Netflix statement bills to a company in the Netherlands, why people who place Facebook ads are charged by a company in Ireland, and why the tiny island of the Bahamas is the sixth-largest foreign owner of Australian farmland?

In the era when most multinationals produced manufactured goods, taxation was straightforward: the profits were taxed in the country where the goods were produced, and where the firm was headquartered. But these days, firms have become adept at shifting profits into low-tax jurisdictions. Two fifths of multinational profits now pass through tax havens and so-called “investment hubs”. Over half the corporate profits recorded in Ireland are shifted from other countries. In recent years, frustration with the slow pace of debates over multinational tax reform has led more than 40 nations to enact or announce new digital sales taxes on technology firms such as Facebook and Google.

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Liberals only do right thing when it solves political problem for them - Transcript, 2SM Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
2SM MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING

TUESDAY, 15 JUNE 2021

SUBJECTS: Biloela family; Scott Morrison out of step with G7 on climate action; Liberals attack on charities; Importance of a UK trade deal that works.

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Right now, Andrew Leigh. Good morning to you, Andrew.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Marcus. Terrific to be with you.

PAUL: Thank you, mate. Did you enjoy - do you get a long weekend in Canberra?

LEIGH: We do indeed, yeah. A lovely big chunk of time with our three little boys, so that was fabulous.

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If Libs hadn't failed on vaccine, Victoria wouldn't be locking down - Transcript, 2SM Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
2SM MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING

TUESDAY, 8 JUNE 2021

SUBJECTS: Indigenous Marathon Project and the Cairns Ironman; Liberal Government’s failures on vaccines; renewable energy project at Liddell power station; Liberals’ Medicare cuts; multinational tax avoidance.

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Let's go to Canberra now. Andrew Leigh joins us each and every Tuesday. Morning, mate.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Marcus. Great to be with you.

PAUL: Congratulations, by the way. You competed your Ironman race, and you raised - how much money did you raise?

LEIGH: We're at $17,000 so far. We were aiming for $22,000, so if any of your listeners would like to chip in it's not too late to support Rob De Castella's Indigenous Marathon Foundation.

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Time Liberals faced up to failings and supported Victorians - Transcript, 2SM Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
2SM MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING

TUESDAY, 1 JUNE 2021

SUBJECTS: Morrison Government’s failure on quarantine and vaccinations; Morrison Government failing to assist Victorian workers; Christian Porter; Reconciliation Week.

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Andrew Leigh is a Labor MP. Good morning, Andrew. How are you?

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Marcus. It's great to be with you.

PAUL: All right, well, we can bet on a longer lockup. The blame game started. Of course, those conservatives those LNP rusted-on types are blaming Dan Andrews, it's all the Victorian Government's fault. I think perhaps if we had vaccination up to scratch and if we had quarantine facilities away from populations, and of course if we didn't go back on, you know, rules that were in place for government-controlled aged care facilities, we might have avoided this.

LEIGH: Absolutely, Marcus. Every outbreak from hotel quarantine is a direct result of Scott Morrison's failure to put in place a safe national quarantine system. We know quarantine is a federal responsibility because it's in the Constitution, which sets out things the federal government should do - Section 51(ix): quarantine. The Federal Government's lax pace of the vaccination rollout - we've had vaccination on slow-mo - has meant that the impact of the outbreak in Victoria has been much worse than it would otherwise have been. Other countries have half their populations fully vaccinated. We have around 2 percent fully vaccinated and only 18 percent have gotten one jab. We are not even in the top 100 countries in the world in terms of the vaccination roll out. Labor has also been urging Prime Minister to put in place a national ad campaign. It’s sort of strange that the guy who was once an ad man, before he was fired by Fran Bailey, won't put in place government ads persuading people who are hesitant to go out there and get vaccinated.

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Public service and political party membership - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 26 MAY 2021

*** CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY ***

In the 1940s and 1950s, US Senator Joseph McCarthy began a regime of attempting to seek out so-called communist sympathisers. Over that period, some 10,000 to 12,000 people lost their jobs. People's lives were ruined. People were unjustly imprisoned. The claims were exaggerated, and did nothing to improve the national security of the United States.

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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | [email protected] | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.