Senate debates

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Bills

Tax Laws Amendment (Combating Multinational Tax Avoidance) Bill 2015; In Committee

6:56 pm

Photo of Richard Di NataleRichard Di Natale (Victoria, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

As I said, companies like News Limited, Pfizer and Pratt Holdings—another big donor to the Australian Labor Party—will all get off scot-free. We will get nothing. Ultimately, this is a question of whether you get 90 per cent of something or 100 per cent of nothing. What the Labor Party is saying right now is that they would prefer to have 100 per cent of nothing. They would prefer to have an issue to grandstand with in the lead-up to the next election. It is critical it is passed today because from 1 January next year we will get country-by-country reporting. That would not happen if this legislation were not passed today, and that is why it is so critical.

Opposition senators interjecting—

Ultimately, we believe that it is important to get some action on multinational tax avoidance rather than standing on the sidelines and grandstanding—that is the issue here. You have a choice. In this place you can grandstand from the sidelines or you can roll your sleeves up and actually get action on multinational tax avoidance, so that is what we have decided to do.

Opposition senators interjecting—

Ultimately, we have decided that in the interests of ensuring that we get those huge multinationals, those private companies—who currently do not have any requirements: none, zero, zip, nada, zilch—to declare the amount of tax that they pay, we believe that it is critical to pass this bill tonight. The Labor Party is saying, 'We don't want to do that. We don't want legislation on multinational tax avoidance. We don't want it. We want to stand here and grandstand and have the House decide to reject this legislation to give the coalition an opportunity to say, "Hang on, the Senate can't agree. You've given us an out."' We are not going to give them an out.

What we are going to do is support legislation that ensures that those big companies pay their fair share, and that is what we are doing right now. We are ensuring that, by rejecting this amendment, which was rejected already by the lower House—

Opposition senators interjecting—

Which means that nothing happens and that we do not get any legislation—nothing, zero! It is a choice: do you grandstand or do you take some action in this area. We think action is important, so we are rolling our sleeves up and we are ensuring that we get legislation tonight, and the passage of this amendment would sink that legislation.

The CHAIRMAN: The question is that Senator Dastyari's amendment on sheet 7831, which replaces amendment (3) with which the House has disagreed, be agreed to.

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