Thursday, 3 December 2015
Tax Laws Amendment (Combating Multinational Tax Avoidance) Bill 2015; In Committee
So committed is the Labor Party to tax transparency that when they negotiated the hours motion for today it was not even on the agenda. They are so committed to it. They think it is so important that when they had the opportunity to talk with the coalition and insist on what legislation should be debated today, no, it was not on the agenda. Do you know what that would have done? It would have meant for companies like Serco: another year off scot-free—don't publish your affairs. Glencore: another year—don't worry about it, we'll let you off the hook. News Limited: who would have thought that the Labor Party would be out there defending the tax affairs of News Limited? Who would have thought it? But here we have the Labor Party saying to News Limited, 'You pay whatever tax you like, because we are not coming after you.'
Let's have a look at some of their donors. Ingham Chicken, one of the companies that will be captured as a result of the Greens amendment, a huge donor to the ALP: 'No, we don't want you to pay your tax affairs. No, let's go quiet. We are doing an hour's motion today. We'll make sure multinational tax avoidance isn't even debated today in the parliament.' Pratt Holdings, another private company, and the second-largest donor on the grandfathered list of the ALP and the Liberal Party: 'No, let's go quiet today. We'll make a big deal of it but we will kick the can down the road. You can continue not publishing how much tax you pay.'
Then we hear about 7-Eleven—the outrage of the 7-Eleven workers. What would the 7-Eleven workers say now that we hear that 7-Eleven will not have to disclose their tax affairs? They do not even understand their own legislation. 7-Eleven is on the list. They will be voting against 7-Eleven from declaring their tax affairs. That is what they will be doing. That is what the Labor Party will be doing.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: Senator Heffernan on a point of order.