MORRISON’S VAUDEVILLE ACT ON MULTINATIONAL TAX FOOLS NO-ONE
Perhaps to make up for Malcolm Turnbull’s suggestion yesterday that fairly taxing multinationals is “controversial”, the Treasurer came packing his best faux-outrage to Question Time today.
Unfortunately however, he forgot his cheat sheet detailing the Coalition’s woeful record on tackling tax avoidance. As always, he attempted to bluff and bluster his way through while mangling the facts in the process.
First, Mr Morrison boasted about his government’s success in auditing big firms for sending profits offshore.
WRONG: The tax office audits which have so far returned over $500 million in revenue to Australia were launched under Labor. We provided $109 million in the 2013 Budget to crack down on corporate tax dodging, an investment which is continuing to pay dividends for Australia.
What Mr Morrison should have said is that the Liberals have picked away at this good work by cutting 4,700 staff from the tax office upon coming to office.
Next, Mr Morrison risibly claimed that Labor had voted against the Government’s multinational tax bill.
WRONG: We voted against the last-minute deal between Scott Morrison and Richard Di Natale’s Greens to water down tax transparency for $100 million firms. Labor consistently supported the multinational tax bill and in fact, called for the Government to go further by also adopting our $7.2 billion plan to close additional tax loopholes.
But we stood firm against Scott Morrison and Richard Di Natale’s plan to help huge companies hide from public scrutiny. Our strong opposition to this deal was reinforced just weeks later when the Australian Tax Office published a report showing one in four public companies earning more than $100 million pay no tax.
What the Treasurer should have told Australians is that thanks to this deal with the Greens, Australians will never know how little tax equivalent private companies really pay.
Mr Morrison’s slim grasp of the facts was topped only by Malcolm Turnbull’s claim that the Government’s multinational tax bill is “already reaping dividends for the ATO”.
If that is the case, the Prime Minister will want to update his own budget papers, which currently have a series of asterisk where there should be revenue figures.
Exactly how much additional tax revenue has been returned to Australia in the 32 days since it took effect?
The reality is, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison talk a lot about multinational tax but are yet to generate a single new dollar through their own policy efforts.
Claiming credit for Labor measures and misleading about the facts is no substitute for real action to make big multinationals pay their fair share.
MEDIA CONTACT: JENNIFER RAYNER 0428 214 856