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Monday, 19 October 2015
Page: 11552


Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:06): My question is to the Prime Minister. Today the Liberal government has legislation before the parliament which implements its inadequate multinational taxation policy. However, the government's own budget papers for this policy show an asterisk where the dollar figures should be. Prime Minister, exactly how much revenue will this policy raise?

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: The Treasurer has the call.

Mr MORRISON (CookTreasurer) (14:07): I thank the Prime Minister for this opportunity. I refer to the comments of the Commissioner of Taxation, who said 'hundreds of millions'. The reason he is able to say that is he knows that since the introduction of the multinational tax avoidance legislation—actual legislation—in the parliament, the Australian Taxation Office will be enabled to sit down and work through with multinational companies the tax they need to be paying. That was 30 companies before we started—before the member for North Sydney introduced this legislation into parliament. And because we introduced that legislation it has now gone to 80. It deals with country-by-country reporting also. This was part of the OECD BEPS review, where this government and this country were at the forefront—the leading edge—ahead of the curve when it came to ensuring that multinationals pay their fair share of tax.

Those opposite like to boast about revenue that can be raised from taxes—those opposite, the architects of the mining tax that raised no revenue! Yet they want to come in here and lecture those on this side of the House, who have actual legislation that has been introduced and that will ensure hundreds of millions of dollars will be raised in additional revenue by getting it right.

Those opposite made an absolute track record of failure to launch. Failure to launch is what we saw from them on every occasion. What we know is that they would have the big press conference, and it always went downhill after that. There was cash for clunkers, and the list goes on and on—school halls and the rest of it. Usually, the worst thing that a Labor government can do is do something. If they just did nothing they would minimise the damage!

Our package of reforms to ensure that multinational tax avoidance is dealt with is in the House of Representatives, and it is on its way to assent. It is hundreds of millions, because we know that you have to work through the details. And the tax office know that they will be able to get that resource. If those opposite are so confident about their number, I ask them simply to release the assumptions behind their number. They are so interested in transparency: they should release their assumptions and explain why the proposal from those opposite will actually damage jobs and damage investment in this country.

The group-ratio-rule method that they want to use does not have the bespoke approach that the government's approach has, which enables us to look at individual investments and legitimate business activities. What those opposite will do will increase the cost of developing infrastructure in this country, particularly for overseas pension funds. It will cost jobs and it will cost important projects.