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Government all talk, no action on tax abuse.

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30 August 2002

Government all talk, no action on tax abuse Today’s “announcement” by Attorney-General Daryl Williams and Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer Senator Helen Coonan simply highlights that the Howard Government is all talk and no action on tax abuse.

While the announcement mentions a range of options, it commits the Government to nothing.

Significantly, it contains no promise to release the report of its much-vaunted taskforce into tax avoidance by high-income professionals.

The Government has been sitting on the taskforce’s report since 18 January this year.

It is pathetic that after more than 7 months, all the Government can say is that it will further consider the report’s recommendations - whatever they are.

Mr Williams and Senator Coonan were obviously embarrassed by yesterday’s revelation that the Howard Government is slithering out of its promise to tax trusts set up by high-wealth individuals.

But their blundering attempt to pretend they are doing something about tax rorts has simply shown they are doing nothing at all.

Mr Williams and Senator Coonan must immediately release the taskforce’s report.

The Government should also accept Labor’s amendments to its Bankruptcy Legislation Amendment Bill, to prevent tax abuse through Part Ten of the Bankruptcy Act.

Mr Williams and Senator Coonan will have to do better than today’s empty announcement to persuade people they’re serious about cracking down on tax abuse by wealthy individuals.

For further information: Jonathan Kirkwood 0425 231 690

Shadow Attorney-General M anager of Opposition Business in the Senate Shadow M inister for W orkplace Relations Parliam entary Secretary to the Shadow Attorney-General

Robert McClelland MP Senator Joe Ludwig