Multinationals are morally bankrupt on tax

Published: 20 Apr 2016

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union calls on Malcolm Turnbull to act on multinational tax avoidance that robs Australia of better schools, hospitals and infrastructure projects.

A report published today by tax experts at the University of Technology, Sydney, shows how some of the world’s biggest companies are short-changing Australians by shifting profits to offshore tax havens.

CFMEU National Secretary Michael O’Connor has called on Malcolm Turnbull to put the interests of everyday Australians ahead of foreign-owned companies and the big end of town.

“Multinational tax avoidance robs everyday Australians of quality education, healthcare and social security,” Mr O’Connor said.

“Malcolm Turnbull is not only aware this morally bankrupt practise goes on in Australia, he also refuses to do anything about it.

“The Government is hell-bent on slashing investment in services that benefit the community, while letting the big end of town shift billions of dollars offshore.”

The report, shows Australia in 2013-14 lost $5.4 billion in corporate tax revenue from just 76 multinational corporations.

Those 76 corporations made $11.6 billion profit in 2013-14 but paid only $1.9 billion in tax. That is an average of 16.2 per cent, which is well below the company tax rate of 30 per cent.

Compare this with a construction worker or a nurse who pay an average tax rate of 24 per cent.

“This Government has ripped $80 billion from education and health budgets, while protecting its mates in big business,” Mr O’Connor said.

“Working people and their families pay their fair share of tax, while foreign owned companies rob us of much needed tax revenue to fix the budget and pay for the services that make Australia a great place to live.

“We have seen in the Panama Papers how wide-spread tax avoidance and money shifting by big business can be. It’s time Malcolm Turnbull stood up for all Australians and not just the big end of town.”

The report pointed to a “sad reality” that many everyday Australians pay more tax than multinational corporations worth billions.