Senate debates

Monday, 23 August 2021


JobKeeper Payment; Order for the Production of Documents

3:41 pm

Photo of Rex PatrickRex Patrick (SA, Independent) Share this | | Hansard source

I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the order of 4 August 2021 requiring the Commissioner of Taxation to provide, by 9.30 am on Thursday, 12 August 2021, the list of all employers with an annual turnover of greater than $10 million that were paid a JobKeeper payment and the number of employees paid, the total amount paid and any amount returned, has not been complied with,

(ii) the response by the Commissioner acknowledges the power of the Senate to require the publication of documents and information, but claims public interest immunity in relation to the documents, and

(iii) in support of the claim the Commissioner asserts that the release of the information will harm the public interest by undermining public confidence in the Commissioner's ability to keep taxation information confidential;

(b) rejects the claim of public interest immunity made by the Commissioner of Taxation, noting that:

(i) the information sought relates to public funding received by an employer, not an employer's business or taxation information, and

(ii) the harm purported cannot be sustained, noting identical data relating to New Zealand employers has been published on a searchable and real time New Zealand Government web page; and

(c) orders the Commissioner of Taxation to comply fully with the order by 4.30 pm on 26 August 2021.

Question agreed to.

3:42 pm

Photo of Anne RustonAnne Ruston (SA, Liberal Party, Minister for Families and Social Services) Share this | | Hansard source

Could I have it noted that the government opposed that motion.