Senate debates

Tuesday, 21 August 2018


Treasury Laws Amendment (Enterprise Tax Plan No. 2) Bill 2017; In Committee

6:22 pm

Photo of Slade BrockmanSlade Brockman (WA, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

Minister, I want to ask you a question about the impact of an uncompetitive corporate tax rate on businesses, particularly those businesses with turnovers above $50 million. But, before I get you to answer a question on that, I just want to preface it by talking a little bit about and reminding you of a visit we did earlier this year to a medium-sized Western Australian company called Legeneering in the Henderson area of Western Australia.

A few years earlier, Legeneering would have been what you would describe as a small business. It was a small engineering contracting firm that, through positive relationships with what could only be described as a very large Western Australian business, grew over time. It grew its number of employees significantly, up to around 200, I believe—I am stretching my memory a little. But, in turn, it was able to grow a network of contractors and support businesses that fed into its services. The large company that was involved in this particular network of relationships was Woodside Energy, and what you saw there was the direct action of what the other side sometimes mockingly calls 'trickle down'. You see a large business contracting to medium-sized businesses, who contract to smaller businesses. The jobs flow out from those large businesses to the medium-sized businesses and to a large number of small businesses. In that way, a significantly increased number of jobs is provided at that small-business level.

Minister, as we see the impact of international corporate tax cuts start to flow through and we see the need to have a globally competitive tax system, I think what I'm trying to get at is: what will the impact be if these amendments and this bill are not supported? Who is ultimately going to bear the burden in the economy of globally uncompetitive corporate tax rates, particularly for those larger businesses with turnovers above $50 million?


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