House debates

Thursday, 4 August 2022

Questions without Notice


2:22 pm

Photo of Zali SteggallZali Steggall (Warringah, Independent) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Treasurer. ATO data shows that five of the gas industry's biggest companies paid no income tax despite having a combined income of $138 billion over the past seven years. At a time when Australian households and businesses are paying record prices for gas extracted from our reserves and sold back to us by these very companies, do you agree that your government's election promise of multinational tax reform should include a super profits tax?

Photo of Jim ChalmersJim Chalmers (Rankin, Australian Labor Party, Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

Thanks very much to the member for Warringah for her question. As she alluded to in her question, the government's priority is to make sure that multinational corporations pay a fairer share of tax where they make their profits. What I hope to do in the next day or two is to release the discussion paper, which is the consultation that we committed to when it comes to the implementation of the multinational tax policies that we took to the election. They are our priority, and they will, hopefully, be implemented as we described them in the election campaign. If that consultation process brings to our attention some issues around the implementation of that promise, then obviously we will take that seriously.

In addition to that, as the member is no doubt aware, there is a big agenda around multinational taxes from the OECD, which the Americans and others have been leading. When I was with the governor of the Reserve Bank at the G20 meetings in Indonesia, one of the topics of conversation with Secretary Janet Yellen and others was about how the world can work together on the two pillars of the OECD agenda to try and make sure that we fix this problem in the global economy, and certainly in our economy, where it's too easy for multinational corporations to move their debt, or move their profits, around the world in a way that sells countries short and makes it harder for us to fund the things that we really care about, like healthcare, education and all of those federal government programs that we need to fund in the context of all of our other budget constraints. Once again—a bit like the answer to the question from another colleague in the House earlier this week, if not last week—we don't intend to go down the path that you are asking us about, but we do intend to take meaningful action on multinational tax.