Nothing new in G20 tax package

Colour me surprised: Joe Hockey has emerged from the G20 meetings with nothing except a series of reheated announcements on multinational tax avoidance.



True to form, Joe Hockey has failed to deliver anything new on multinational tax avoidance from this weekend’s G20 summit.

Although he and Tony Abbott are touting agreement on the Common Reporting Standard and the OECD’s base erosion Action Plan as big wins, in fact both of these things had been agreed long before the world leaders sat down on Sunday.

What’s more, they depend on individual governments taking domestic action to implement them. Joe Hockey has squibbed it every time he’s had the chance to act on multinational profit shifting, as his record shows:  

What Joe says:

“It’s hugely important for the globe that companies pay tax on their profits. It is theft when someone does not pay the tax due to the nation.

– Australian Financial Review, 14 November 2014

What Joe does:

Re-opens tax loopholes closed by Labor, allowing $1.1 billion in potential revenue to drain offshore.

What Joe says:   

I have asked the Commissioner of Taxation to double his efforts by undertaking more extensive enquiries and audits of multinational companies.”

- Ministerial Statement, 4 September 2014

What Joe does:

Sacks 4,700 staff from the Australian Tax Office, including up to 1,000 auditors with specific expertise in complex international tax structures.

What Joe says:

“Supporting greater tax transparency and information exchange is our best weapon to crack down on tax avoidance and evasion right now.”

- G20 Finance Ministers Press conference, 20 September 2014

What Joe does:

Attempts to water down Labor legislation mandating the publication of company tax information in Australia when in opposition; refuses to back bringing publication of this information forward now he is government. 

Australians want to see real reforms that will add to the budget bottom line by ensuring companies pay their fair share. For all his big talk over the weekend, Joe Hockey is yet to show he has the will or ability to deliver that.



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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.