Greens Treasury spokesperson, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, welcomes the passage of Labor’s private Member’s Bill to lower the tax transparency threshold and is pleased to note that the Senate accepted the two Greens-proposed amendments.
Senator Whish-Wilson said, “Today the Senate effectively endorsed the Greens multi-national tax integrity policy by voting to support amendments to lower the threshold for which companies need to disclose basic tax information down to $50 million turnover, and to remove the ‘grandfathered’ exemption on around 1,500 private companies that are currently able to keep their tax information secret.
“In 1995, these 1,500 companies were cut a deal to continue being able to keep their tax affairs secret by the Paul Keating government and have managed to keep this secrecy provision in place for more than two decades of the successive Labor and Liberal governments.
“These grandfathered private companies, with this cosy tax deal, are owned by some of Australia’s richest men and include many significant donors to political parties. The Keating government cut these wealthy Australians a deal and that deal was proven not to be in the national interest. And today the Senate has signalled that the deal is over.
“The Greens will always push for more tax transparency and will continue to fight to rip up legislation that serves the corporate interest not the public interest, regardless of whether it’s fixing up the neoliberal legislation of Keating or of Howard,” he concluded.