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Costello didn’t pay tax on his compo!

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Joel Fitzgibbon MP

Shadow Assistant Treasurer Shadow Minister for Revenue Shadow Minister for Small Business and Competition 24 July 2006

Costello didn’t pay tax on his compo!

Peter Costello paid no tax on his compensation for defamation but wants to ensure the tax man gets his share of the fund established to compensate James Hardie victims and their families.

His Ebenezer Scrooge approach is exacerbating the tragic circumstances faced by the victims of asbestos and their families.

The issue has moved on from whether or not James Hardie should enjoy a tax deduction for its payments. It’s now about the tax status of the compensation fund itself.

The questions at hand are:

1. whether the payments to the compensation fund will be taxable in the hands of the fund.

2. whether interest earned by the fund will be taxable.

A failure to deliver on either question will transfer money directly out of the pockets of asbestos victims and their families, to the tax office.

That is why I will be moving an amendment to the tax law in the next session of Parliament to allow the Special Purpose Fund to become a tax exempt entity. It is simply what a compassionate government should do in the current circumstances.

I know what most Australians will conclude that James Hardie victims deserve a tax break more than Peter Costello did.

Contact: Joel Fitzgibbon 0418 293 372 Brendan Long 0408 421 447