Government looks the other way as big companies avoid tax

Published: 23 Mar 2016

The CFMEU is calling on the Government to act on the tax avoidance crisis revealed in the wake of Australian Tax Office data releases showing public and private companies are not paying any tax.

The release was part two in the ATO’s corporate transparency data and focussed on Australian owned private companies earning more than $200 million a year that have paid no tax. Part one was 
released in December showing public and foreign owned companies earning more than $100 million.

The combined data showed that big earners Lend Lease reported an income of $7.7 billion and paid no tax, whilst energy giants Exxon Mobil and Chevron reported incomes of $9.6 billion and $3 billion 
and still paid nothing. Construction firm Grocon reported an income of $441 million but also paid no tax.

CFMEU National Secretary Michael O’Connor said the data revealed the skewed priorities of the Turnbull Government.

“One of the Liberal Party’s biggest corporate donors, Brickworks Limited, reported $864 million in revenue but paid no tax. In some cases big business are paying more in donations to the Liberal 
Party than they are in tax,” Mr O’Connor said.

“Here is proof that the Government’s priorities lie with big business and not with the broader Australian community. This kind of corporate behaviour robs Australia of better schools, improved 
healthcare and investment in infrastructure that leads to more jobs.

“We have heard reports this week that 55 millionaires didn’t pay any tax. We heard in December that 38 per cent of public companies didn’t pay tax. And now we hear that 31 per cent of private 
companies have also avoided paying any tax.”

The ATO released data from 1539 private, public and foreign owned companies. This week’s data release of 321 companies showed 31 per cent of private Australian companies pay no tax.

“Malcolm Turnbull can no longer ignore this rort of the Australia people, the figures are in plain view. These companies are household names making big profits,” Mr O’Connor said.

“We are missing out on millions of dollars in revenue that could help Australia through the transition from the mining boom but instead the Government wants to give their big business mates 
further tax cuts.

“The Government shamefully knows what’s going on with tax avoidance but instead of fixing the problem, helping the budget and cracking down on big business it tries to smash workers’ rights and