Joint media release with
The Hon Jim Chalmers MP
APPOINTMENTS TO COMPETITION TASKFORCE ADVISORY PANEL
The Albanese Government has appointed seven experts in business, government, law and economics to advise on competition policy settings to build a more dynamic and productive economy.
Kerry Schott, John Asker, Sharon Henrick, David Gonski and John Fingleton will join Danielle Wood and Rod Sims on the expert advisory panel for the new Competition Taskforce.
The Taskforce has been established in Treasury to provide continuous advice on whether Australia’s competition policy settings are fit for purpose in the face of the big shifts underway in our economy.
Greater competition is critical for lifting dynamism, productivity and wages growth, putting downward pressure on prices and delivering more choice for Australians dealing with cost-of-living pressures.
LISTENING TO AUSTRALIA’S CHARITY SECTOR
Over the coming weeks, I will hold a series of town hall meetings to meet with charity sector representatives, and continue Australia’s largest-ever charity consultation.
The Australian Government values the expertise and the contributions of the charity and non-profit sector, which constitutes almost one-tenth of the economy, and over one-tenth of employment.
In the wake of the disconnection crisis, the pandemic and the Coalition’s war on charities, Australia’s charities and non-profits need support to continue their essential work in building stronger, fairer communities.
Shortly after the Albanese Government came to office, I conducted the largest charity consultation in Australian history, hosting town hall meetings in every state and territory capital city and online.
This year, I have held further charity sector town hall meetings in Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Launceston. The purpose of these meetings is to share ideas on how we can rebuild community trust and engagement, and to reinforce the Albanese Government’s commitment to partner with the sector to build a more connected Australia.Read more
ABC MELBOURNE MORNINGS WITH RAF EPSTEIN
THURSDAY, 26 OCTOBER 2023
SUBJECTS: Inflation; Rate of immigration to Australia; Housing Australia Future Fund; Rental inflation.
RAF EPSTEIN (HOST): Inflation is higher than people thought it would be. It's not as high as last year, according to the ABS figures yesterday, but it's high enough, high enough to have many people thinking you will get another rate rise in two weeks' time. And, of course, part of inflation is rent, and rents are going up faster than at any time in the last 14 years. Andrew Leigh is Assistant Minister for Treasury. He's part of Anthony Albanese's Government and one of the MPs in Canberra. Andrew Leigh, good morning.
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES, COMPETITION, TREASURY AND EMPLOYMENT ANDREW LEIGH: Morning, Raf. Great to be with you.
EPSTEIN: Do we have too many people coming?
LEIGH: I think we've got some catch-up migration, which is flowing from the borders being closed during the pandemic. You speak to businesses around the country and they're crying out for more workers. Many of those workers Raf are then unlocking opportunities for Australians. The genius of the Australian migration system, which makes it better than the migration system in many other countries, is that we’ve brought in workers to fill gaps rather than to supplant existing workers. And in many parts of Australia, we've still got job vacancies exceeding the number of people who are unemployed. It is quite extraordinary to still have unemployment below 4 per cent. It's only happened in 19 months since the current unemployment series began in the late 1970s, and 16 of those 19 months have been under this government.Read more
SKY NEWSDAY WITH TOM CONNELL
TUESDAY, 24 OCTOBER 2023
SUBJECTS: Doubling philanthropy; superannuation bequests; the legislated purpose of superannuation; artificial intelligence.
TOM CONNELL (HOST): Welcome back. Well, Australians are known as the people that give relatively generously. The Labor Government thinks that could be more so, there is an aim to double our philanthropy by the year 2030. Joining me live is Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury Andrew Leigh on that very topic. So, a meeting today around that because we have the goals and then we have how we get there. How are you going to get there? What's the aim here? Is it just give generously or is it about tax incentives? What can you do here?
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES, COMPETITION, TREASURY AND EMPLOYMENT ANDREW LEIGH: Well, Tom, we're aiming to boost giving right across the spectrum, everywhere from Kids in Philanthropy to workplace giving, to boosting giving by high net worth individuals. We've got a Productivity Commission review, a once-in-a-generation opportunity to look at the philanthropy settings. What's great is to have in the Parliament today a whole range of generous foundations, donors and charities talking about how we can work together to address some of Australia's most pressing social problems. It's about building community, it's about connecting people. I spoke today about the fact that an Australia without charities would be an Australia without community sport, without the arts, without the support for the disadvantaged and the environment. Charities do so much remarkable work in the community. And the government's aim to double philanthropy by 2030 aims to give them resources to do even more.Read more
6PR MONEYNEWS WITH KARALEE KATSAMBANIS
MONDAY, 23 OCTOBER 2023
SUBJECTS: ATO’s Multinational Tax Avoidance taskforce; benefits of competition policy in assisting small businesses and the Royal Australian Mint's recent win at the Mint Directors Conference in Canada.
KARALEE KATSAMBANIS (HOST): I'm always delighted to catch up with this gentleman, the Honourable Dr Andrew Leigh, who is Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury and Employment. Good evening, Dr Leigh.
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES, COMPETITION, TREASURY AND EMPLOYMENT ANDREW LEIGH: Good evening, Karalee, great to be with you.
KATSAMBANIS: Well it's lovely to be with you too, and I thought we'd do a bit of a round-up this evening because there's a lot of things happening, you're in charge of a lot of portfolios and you're always very accessible here for our West Australian listeners and to tell us what's going on.
So I thought we'd sort of kick off with one of the things that is one of your babies I should say, but what's been happening with the multinational tax amendments and the things that are going on there and the various measures that are being progressed by the Government?Read more
ABC CANBERRA MORNINGS WITH ADAM SHIRLEY
TUESDAY, 24 OCTOBER 2023
SUBJECTS: ATO’s Multinational Tax Avoidance taskforce; Australian companies using foreign tax havens; future of the Australian Institute of Sport.
ADAM SHIRLEY (HOST): You do your work, you pay your taxes. Although if you're not a multinational conglomerate who can afford some pretty skilled accountants, you might be paying, in percentage terms, a lot more. Multinational tax avoidance is an issue that the then opposition, now Federal Government pledged to crack down on, so that you weren't paying an unfair amount compared to those big companies. Andrew Leigh is the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities, Treasury and Employment. He's the Federal Member for Fenner in the ACT. Dr Leigh, good morning to you.
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES, COMPETITION, TREASURY AND EMPLOYMENT ANDREW LEIGH: Morning, Adam. Great to be with you.
SHIRLEY: How is that work progressing? And is it fair to say still that some regular Australian workers are being dudded compared to multinationals?
LEIGH: When multinationals pay less, Australians pay more. So, the fact is, we need to make sure they're paying their fair share. After a decade when the coalition was on the go-slow on multinational tax dodging, we're on the case. The Tax Avoidance Taskforce has now reported that it managed to claw back some $6.4 billion last year. These are taxes that should have been paid but weren't, and were followed up by the Tax Avoidance Taskforce. We're also looking at ways of tightening the laws. Multinationals right now have too many ways of dodging tax that just aren't available to your regular Canberra small business.Read more
ABC NEWS RADIO WITH GLEN BARTHOLOMEW
MONDAY, 23 OCTOBER 2023
SUBJECTS: ATO’s Multinational Tax Avoidance taskforce; Australian companies using foreign tax havens.
GLEN BARTHOLOMEW (HOST): A new report suggests multinational profit shifting deprived Australia of $11 billion in tax in 2020. The global report from the EU Tax Observatory of the Paris School of Economics suggests Australians hold more than $370 billion in known foreign tax havens, and that multinational companies are shifting profits to lower tax in countries.
Assistant Minister for Treasury, Andrew Leigh, says his government's determined to prevent companies unfairly shifting profits to tax havens, and that the Tax Office has managed to claw back billions in lost revenue. Andrew Leigh, good afternoon.
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES, COMPETITION, TREASURY AND EMPLOYMENT ANDREW LEIGH: Good afternoon, Glen, great to be with you.
BARTHOLOMEW: Is it concerning it see that more than $370 billion is held by Australians in these so‑called tax haven countries?
LEIGH: Look, I take this report very seriously. Gabriel Zucman who's the co‑lead is one of the best known tax economists working globally, and his work has uncovered a whole range of concerning patterns, which have been one of the reasons that we took multinational tax integrity to the last election.
We've now had the Tax Avoidance Taskforce report that it brought in more than $6 billion over the last year, significantly more than in previous years, and we're moving to close multinational tax loopholes. There's an awful lot to be done, but the bottom line is when multinationals pay less, Australians pay more.Read more
START UPS, UPSTARTS AND COMPETITION
Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht started Canva in their early twenties. Ruslan Kogan started Kogan at age 23. At the same age, Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes started Atlassian.
Yet the data shows that such stories are increasingly rare. In 1976, 17 percent of business owners were aged under 30. In 2021, the figure was just 8 percent. Conversely, the share of business owners who are aged over 50 has risen from 30 percent to 47 percent. True, the age profile of the whole population has shifted in that period, but not so dramatically as the age profile of business owners.Read more
2CC DRIVE WITH LEON DELANEY
FRIDAY, 20 OCTOBER 2023
SUBJECTS: ACT unemployment rate; ACCC monitoring prices of airline flights; Progress on multinational tax laws; Release of Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission’s Annual Report.
LEON DELANEY (HOST): The unemployment rate in the ACT has gone up against the national trend, despite the Canberra job market still apparently going strong with the highest participation rate in the country. But the unemployment rate is up from 3.2 to 3.9 per cent. Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, and Assistant Minister for Employment, not to mention, our local member for Fenner, Andrew Leigh joins us now. Good afternoon.
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT, CHARITIES, COMPETITION AND TREASURY ANDREW LEIGH: ANDREW LEIGH: Good afternoon, Leon. Great to be with you.
DELANEY: What should we read into these unemployment figures in the ACT?Read more
ABC DRIVE WITH ANNA VIDOT
MONDAY, 16 OCTOBER 2023
SUBJECTS: Barton Highway duplication, Voice referendum, Australian Institute of Sport independent review
ANNA VIDOT (HOST): Lots to talk about, not only with regard to the referendum but there are a couple of other interesting political things bubbling along. To discuss this afternoon I'm joined by the Federal Member for Fenner Andrew Leigh, who's on the line with us.
Andrew Leigh, thanks very much for your time. How are you feeling on the Monday after the referendum before?
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES, COMPETITION, TREASURY AND EMPLOYMENT ANDREW LEIGH: Look, very sad, Anna. I think this was a referendum which would have made a big positive difference for First Nations people and for Australia as a whole. I’m feeling especially for the First Nations leaders here in the ACT and across the country who'd worked for years, in some cases even more than that, in order to get this constitutional recognition happening.
I think the challenge now is to take the energy and the passion, the mobilisation of volunteers that's occurred around First Nations issues and point that towards closing the gaps, towards reconciliation.
We know that there is a lot of goodwill, particularly here in Canberra where more than 60 per cent of Canberrans voted yes. That certainly shows how strongly committed we are here in the ACT to reconciliation and to closing the gaps.Read more