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Thursday, 6 March 2014
Page: 1889

Mr HUSIC (Chifley) (13:36): I draw to the House's attention today's Financial Review and an exceptionally insightful piece by Neil Chenoweth talking about the amount of money that Apple has paid in tax in this country. Between 2002 and 2013, Australians spent $26.7 billion on Apple products. According to this report, the income shifted to Ireland by Apple Sales International totalled nearly $9 billion, and the tax paid to the ATO of that $26.7 billion of sales was $193 million. You have to ask, 'Why do they get away with this?' We have a tax regime that is built out of plasticine and a lot of these firms squeeze the most they can out of the tax rules—a transfer-pricing regime that is lagging behind the times, taxation arrangements that need to be hauled into the modern era, and we are being kept in the dark about the tax that is actually being paid. These multinationals are not paying their fair share and Australian firms that are doing the right thing are bearing the load.

The coalition has done two things that have not helped in this case. In December, Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos announced they had abandoned a measure to prevent firms reducing their bills and on 4 January Arthur Sinodinos also indicated he was considering abandoning measures requiring firms to disclose total income. We deserve better. We need to work as one to fix this tax regime up. I urge the government to do it.