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Tuesday, 3 May 2016
Page: 4206

Taxation


Mr VASTA (Bonner) (14:31): My question is to the Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer. Will the minister update the House on the government's action to ensure multinational companies and individuals are paying the right amount of tax? How does this compare with other proposals?


Ms O'DWYER (HigginsMinister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer) (14:32): I would very much like to thank the member for Bonner for his question, because he understands that this government has been acting to ensure that multinational companies and high-net-worth individuals are paying the right amount of tax in Australia. This side of the House can be trusted because we act. The other side is all talk.

The opposition had six years in government, and what did they achieve on this? Virtually nothing. We have been in government for under three years, and we have a very long list of achievements when it comes to acting against multinational companies that are trying to avoid their tax. Let us go through them. We passed legislation to tighten the thin capitalisation rules to stop multinational companies claiming excessive tax deductions. We designed and we implemented the multinational anti-avoidance law to stop multinationals with global income of over $1 billion from artificially avoiding a taxable presence in Australia. We doubled penalties for multinationals caught avoiding tax.

What did those opposite do? What did they do? It should be noted that those opposite, those in Labor, voted against this bill. We have given the Australian Taxation Office greater access to multinationals' transfer pricing policies, their income and the tax paid across the entire groups' operation, through new country by country reporting requirements. We have legislated to give force to a double tax treaty with Switzerland that allows the exchange of information between tax authorities of each country to ensure that there is not tax evasion. We have enacted legislation for the common reporting standard to detect those who are trying to hide money in overseas accounts. We on this side have established the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce, a multi-agency task force that goes after those people who are avoiding or evading their tax. Under this government, we have ensured that the ATO numbers in their public group and international business line have grown. They are higher than they were under Labor. It is going after those people who are avoiding their tax.

On this side, we get angry when people are not paying the right amount of tax. We get angry when multinational companies are not paying the right amount of tax. The Labor Party claim that they are going to do something, and they claim that that something is going to be worth billions of dollars. But they have not released their modelling, they have not released their assumptions, and I call on them to do that now. Why won't they release their assumptions? Well, I think we know why. Last night we found that there is a $20 billion hole in their tobacco policy. That is why they are not prepared to release their modelling. That is why they are not prepared to release their— (Time expired)