Showing posts with label Turnbull Government. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Turnbull Government. Show all posts

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

So many Newspoll losses mean democratic processes at risk as Turnbull Government strives to claw back political ground


“The Coalition now trails Labor by 47.5 per cent to 52.5 per cent in two-party terms across the four polls. This reflects a 48:52 result from Fairfax/Ipsos, the same from Newspoll, the same from Essential and a 46:54 result from ReachTel on March 29.” [The Sydney Morning Herald, 9 April 2016]

From May 2014 to September 2015 the Abbott Coalition Government experienced 30 consecutive negative Newspoll federal voting intentions opinion polls*.

After the sacking of Tony Abbott by his party and the installation of Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister the Turnbull Coalition Government saw 12 positive Newspolls before this second rendition of a Coalition federal government itself experienced 30 consecutive negative Newspolls from 12 September 2016 to 9 April 2018.

This polling history indicates that the Liberal-National federal government is likely to have only had the national electorate’s approval for around ten of the last thirty-seven calendar months.

According to the Australian Electoral Commission; As House of Representatives and half-Senate elections are usually held simultaneously, the earliest date for such an election would be Saturday 4 August 2018. As the latest possible date for a half-Senate election is Saturday 18 May 2019, the latest possible date for a simultaneous (half-Senate and House of Representatives) election is also Saturday 18 May 2019.

Given that (i) between them the Abbott and Turnbull governments have experienced  experienced only 12 positive polls in the last 68 Newspolls; and (ii) the Liberal Party has already admitted that during its successful March 2018 South Australian election it had utilised the services of one of the known “bad actors” on  the international election campaign consultancy scene, the US-based data miner i360; it is highly likely that “bad actors” will be employed once more and over the next four to thirteen months voters will be subjected to a barrage of misinformation, bald lies, vicious rumour and false promises from both Coalition politicians and their supporters in mainstream and social media.

Voters will have to fact check what they hear and read as never before.

* A federal voting intentions Newspoll is considered negative for one or other of the two main political parties based on two party preferred percentage results
Newspolls surveys normally occur every two to three weeks outside of election campaign periods when they are likely to occur more often.
Newspoll results can be found at https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/newspoll.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

NSW Bar Association: “As members of the legal profession, we know indigenous Australians, proportionately, are the most incarcerated on earth. This diminishes us as a nation.”


The Australian, 29 March 2018, p.6:

As members of the legal profession, we know indigenous Australians, proportionately, are the most incarcerated on earth. This diminishes us as a nation.
Sovereignty and dispossession, recognition and representation of interests: they are different facets of the same problem. It is something that we, as lawyers, have a duty to help solve. It is because of this duty that the legal profession welcomed the government’s reference to the Australian Law Reform Commission to examine, among other issues, rates of incarceration for the indigenous.

The Pathways to Justice report of the ALRC represents a comprehensive blueprint to address the shameful over-representation of indigenous people in our prisons. Swift and decisive action is required from commonwealth, state and territory governments to ensure its recommendations are implemented.

ALRC recommendations relating to sentencing and bail regimes, the repeal of mandatory sentencing laws, an effective justice reinvestment framework, culturally appropriate community-based sentencing options, and so on, are all aimed at how substantive, not just formal, equality before the law can be achieved for indigenous people. All recommendations are supported by the NSW Bar Association as important initiatives which will contribute to addressing Aboriginal incarceration rates.

The NSW Bar is pleased the ALRC supports establishment of indigenous sentencing courts including the NSW Walama Court. The Walama Court is critical in reducing indigenous incarceration. The model involves community participation and greater supervision, resulting in reduced recidivism and increased compliance with court orders to better protect the community. It is not a “soft on crime” initiative but rather a more effective manner to supervise offenders post-sentence which would enhance rehabilitation and prevent re-offending.
At this stage the NSW government has not allocated funds to establish the Walama Court in the 2018-19 financial year, despite the fact it would have long-term economic cost savings for NSW as fewer indigenous people will be imprisoned and rates of recidivism would be reduced…..

Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) Pathways to Justice–Inquiry into the Incarceration Rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (ALRC Report 133) Final Report, published on 28 March 2018.



Friday, 30 March 2018

Corporate tax cuts lead to 'jobs and growth' in Australia? Pull the other one!


This Business Council of Australia survey was apparently mothballed when initial results indicated that it would reveal the truth about outcomes flowing from the Turnbull Government’s planned corporate tax cuts - a distinct lack of jobs and wages growth.

Financial Review, 27 March 2018:

Fewer than one in five of Australia's leading chief executives say they will use the Turnbull government's proposed company tax cut to directly increase wages or employ more staff, according to a secret survey conducted by the Business Council of Australia.

More than 80 per cent said they would either use the proceeds to boost returns to shareholders or invest in the company.

The explosive revelation comes as the government is still struggling to secure the final two Senate votes needed to pass the remainder of the $65 billion package.
The survey follows a letter to all Senators last week by the BCA and 10 of the nation's top chief executive officers in which they pledged to reinvest the proceeds of the tax cuts with the ultimate aim of increasing wages.

"If the Senate passes this important legislation we, as some of the nation's largest employers, commit to invest more in Australia which will lead to employing more Australians and therefore stronger wage growth as the tax cut takes effect," the letter said.

But The Australian Financial Review has learned that the BCA directly surveyed the chief executives of its 130-plus members about a company tax cut this year, in the wake of the company tax rate cut in the United States.

The chief executives were asked which of four options they would nominate as their preferred response to the company tax cut in Australia.

These were: returning funds to shareholders; more investment; increasing the wages of their existing workforce; or increasing employment.

More than 80 per cent nominated one of the first two options while only 16 per cent to 17 per cent nominated higher wages or employment.

The survey results are understood to have been tightly held but were reported on internally in a memo entitled "the good news and the bad news".

A spokesman for the BCA confirmed the survey to the Financial Review on Monday but downplayed its significance…….

This lobby group has now decided that 'spin' is more important than fact and senators have all received a BCA video appeal promising well-paid and meaningful jobs and wages growth that only growing investment can deliver if the comapny tax cits are passed.

A neat trick given that its members are also arguing before the Fair Work Commission Annual Wage Review 2017-18 that the minimum wage should remain as is or only be increased by 34-35 cents an hour which represents no growth in real wages.


The vague, slyly worded non-promise to lift workers wages received by Senators



Google some of the businesses on this short list and one finds an unflattering employer history with regard to employee wages and job terms & conditions.

Friday, 23 March 2018

Federal Liberals behaving badly in 2018


This was the Liberal MP for Leichardt and Chair of Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia Warren George Entsch on 7 March 2018 at warrenentsch.com.au.....

Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch is calling for big ideas from the community that could help shape the future of the region.

Mr Entsch said the $272 million Regional Growth Fund would support major projects in regional, rural and remote areas that delivered long-term economic benefits.
“This is an exciting program that is set to deliver major projects over $20 million that take advantage of the region’s natural economic strengths,” Mr Entsch said.

“The Regional Growth Fund will support additional investment for sustainable economic growth, including from the private sector, other levels of government, and not-for-profit organisations.

“Initial applications close on 27 April 2018 and I encourage everyone eligible in our community to look at the program guidelines and get started on an application.”

Mr Entsch said the Federal Government would invest a minimum of $10 million toward each successful infrastructure project, representing a maximum of 50 per cent of project costs.

This was The Cairns Post on the subject of a particular pork barrel and Mr. Entsch…..

22 March 2018

It was a long and tough election campaign for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. He finally buckled late in the 2016 race and matched Labor’s pledge to fund the final $100 million to build Townsville’s stadium.

It was a welcome boost to Coalition MPs but Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch needed a lift too.

Mr Turnbull threw him a bone in the form of a $20 million regional jobs and investment package.

It wasn’t a $100 million pledge but it struck at the heart of something the region desperately needed: jobs.

The announcement received a lot of media and Mr Entsch was delivered another term in Canberra.

But 100 days after the Coalition was sworn in there was little action and even less in the way of detail on how businesses could access the funding. Time dragged on until Advance Cairns chairman and campaign director for Mr Entsch, Trent Twomey was named chairman of the Local Planning Committee for the fund in January 2017.

Among the committee’s brief was to set the eligibility criteria. The application process was finally rolled out, closing in July 2017. Throughout the process the Cairns Post has watched, waited and asked questions to ensure the fund was not just a hollow election promise. After 20 months Mr Entsch announced in February a list of recipients; among them was a $2.4m grant for QRX Group 1 to establish a first for FNQ — a pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution centre. The project, never heard of until the announcement, has raised many eyebrows. There are questions that need answering about the true number of jobs it will generate, a key criterion of the funding, and if there is a real conflict of interest with Mr Twomey’s wife a one-third owner of QRX Group 1.

22 March 2018

Leichardt MP Warren Entsch could face a quizzing over how the wife of his campaign director Trent Twomey won a $2.4 million federal grant to expand her family pharmaceutical empire.

The Australian Federal Police is looking into a formal complaint of alleged fraud and misconduct in the handling of the multi-million dollar handout.

Far North civic and business leaders told the Cairns Post many taxpayers held concerns about LNP pork-barrelling and whether it “passes the sniff test”.

Mr Entsch, whose son works for the pharmacy company behind the deal, said it was a “brilliant project” and he was outraged by suggestions “about fraud and corruption” over the $220m Regional Jobs and Investment Package (RJIP).

“It ticked all the boxes,’’ he said.

Mr Entsch appointed his election campaign manager Trent Twomey, a local pharmacist and Advance Cairns chairman, to head an RJIP committee panel to identify key priorities for $20m in federal grants to stimulate jobs growth and investment.

The shelf company QRX Group 1 – where Mr Twomey’s wife Georgina and business partner Leo Maltam are listed in company records as directors – won $2,415,400 in funds to build a $5m pharmacy distribution facility……

The Australian Federal Police has been referred a formal complaint but are yet to launch an official “active” fraud investigation. An AFP spokesman suggested the matter might be referred to the Department of Regional Development’s internal probity and audit unit.

Business leaders and pharmacy owners said the vision to build Northern Australia’s first pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution centre was unheard of until the grant was announced two weeks ago.…….

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Australia Post-Port Arthur Massacre



Twenty years after the Port Arthur Massacre when a lone gunman killed 35 people and wounded 23 more…….

The Conversation, 27 April 2016:

The 1996 firearm laws were immediately followed by a buying spree, as banned rapid-fire rifles and shotguns were replaced with freshly imported single-shot firearms.
By 1999, civilian gun imports had dropped to a record low. And most gun dealers closed their doors.

In the years that followed, gun-buying climbed steadily to new heights. By 2015, the arms trade had broken all previous records. Last financial year Australia imported 104,000 firearms.

The million guns destroyed after Port Arthur have been replaced with 1,026,000 new ones. And the surge only shows upward momentum.

Twenty-one years after……

News.com.au, 12 October 2017:

THERE is a major “loophole” in Australia’s gun laws which allows for private arsenals with hundreds of guns and owners to “buy their first ... or 310th gun”.

Tighter restrictions on gun ownership — including a compulsory requirement to show “genuine reason” for owning each firearm — were introduced in 1996 following the Port Arthur massacre.

But the number of weapons that can be owned by an individual have since been weakened in various states and are not exclusively capped.

NSW Greens spokesman David Shoebridge said “a loophole in NSW’s gun laws allows private individuals to use the same reason to buy their 1st, 10th or 310th gun” and that Australia faces another mass shooting if the national approach to gun control isn’t tightened.

“A 20-year review of gun laws enacted after the Port Arthur Massacre in 1996 did not even look at capping the number of guns that can be owned by one individual,” he said.

“We are seeing private arsenals being built up in our major capital cities ...(and) suburbia.”

NSW Police figures for private firearm ownership obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show there are 31 private arsenals across Sydney with 73 to 305 guns each.

“Of the top 100 private arsenals with the most guns, 31 are in Sydney,” Mr Shoebridge said.

“These gun owners are not collectors or arms dealers but private individuals who have been allowed to amass private arsenals.

“It is inevitable that some of these private arsenals with end up in the hands of criminals.

“This really isn’t a question of mere politics it is a question of life and death.”

Almost 22 years later……

ABC News, 1 March 2018:

Thousands of automatic rifles, handguns and a rocket launcher are among the weapons handed in during last year's National Firearms Amnesty.

The final results, released today, show 57,324 firearms were handed in between July and September across Australia to be registered or destroyed.

Authorities received around 2,500 fully-automatic or semi-automatic guns that were previously unaccounted for, and 2,900 handguns.

The rocket launcher was handed in to a licensed firearms dealer in Queensland, who believes it was once recovered at a local tip.

New South Wales received the highest number of firearms at 24,831, followed by Queensland on 16,375. Victorians handed in 9,175 guns.

Almost a third of the weapons were destroyed, with the rest either registered and handed back, or passed on to a licensed dealer for resale.

Federal Minister for Law Enforcement Angus Taylor said the weapons were no longer on the "grey market", which refers to guns that are not registered and not in the hands of criminals.

"It's critical to get them off this grey market … so they don't end up in the black market," he said.

Despite the evidence before his eyes Home Affairs tsar Peter Dutton is apparently considering expanding the political power of the Australian gun lobby – à la U.S. National Rifle Association……

The Guardian, 15 March 2018:

The home affairs minister, Peter Dutton, is considering establishing a committee to allow gun importers to review proposed changes to firearm regulations for “appropriateness and intent”.

Following a meeting with a pro-gun lobbyist in February, Dutton is weighing up whether to establish a so-called “firearms advisory council”, which the gun lobby says would give it “a seat at the table” to advise the government on firearms policy.

Last month Dutton met with officials from Nioa, one of Australia’s largest gun dealers, and members of the shooting lobby to discuss the council.

Nioa is run by Robert Nioa, a major political donor to his father-in-law, the federal MP Bob Katter. He is also a director of the firearms industry lobbying group Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia, or Sifa.

Sifa’s other directors include the general manager of Winchester Australia, Clive Pugh and the managing director of Beretta Australia, Luca Scribani Rossi.

The group donated to Liberal and National MPs in the lead-up to the 2016 federal election and pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into a campaign that helped minor rightwing parties gain votes in last year’s Queensland state election.

Held at Nioa’s company headquarters in Brisbane, the meeting was attended by Laura Patterson, Sifa’s communications and research officer, and Nioa official David Briggs. Robert Nioa was not at the meeting.

In a video posted by Sifa on social media, Patterson said the meeting was aimed at “formalising” the establishment of a “firearms advisory council”.

In the video, which included an image of the department’s logo, Patterson said the council would “establish a mechanism for expert government to industry consultation” and would allow Sifa to “review proposed regulatory changes for efficiency, appropriateness and intent”.

BACKGROUND

Australian Government, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2017:

Rates of firearm-related injuries for both hospitalised cases and deaths fell between 1999–00 and 2005–06 from a starting rate of 2 cases per 100,000 population to 1.5 per 100,000 for hospitalised cases and 1 per 100,000 for deaths in 2013–14 (Figure 6).

Rates for hospitalised cases were relatively steady from 2005–06 onwards, while rates for deaths continued to fall:

* The fall in rates for hospitalised cases in the early part of the period was mainly attributable to a decline in unintentional cases, from 221 to 105, between 1999–00 and 2005–06.

* The fall in rates for deaths over the entire period was mainly attributable to a decline in intentional self-harm (suicide) cases, from 236 to 166, between 1999–00 and 2012–13.

The rate of firearm suicide by males was about 6 to 7 per 100,000 population annually for about 30 years, to the late 1980s.

The rate then declined to less than 1 per 100,000 by 2011 (Figure 7). A similar pattern was seen for females, although rates were much lower.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Let's talk about excess franking credits and why they have been money for jam for the last 17 years


This is what the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) states about imputation:


Dividends paid to shareholders by Australian resident companies are taxed under a system known as imputation. This is where the tax the company pays is imputed, or attributed, to the shareholders. The tax paid by the company is allocated to shareholders as franking credits attached to the dividends they receive.

Dividends and franking credits

If you receive franking credits on your dividends, you need to let us know your:

* franked amount
* franking credit.
If you are an Australian resident, we will use this information to:
* reduce your tax liability from all forms of income (not just dividends) and from your taxable net capital gain
* refund any excess franking to you after any of your income tax and Medicare levy liabilities have been met.


You are eligible for a refund of excess franking credits if all of the following apply:

* You receive franked dividends, on or after 1 July 2000, either directly or through a trust or partnership.
* Your basic tax liability is less than your franking credits after taking into account any other tax offsets you are entitled to.
* You meet our anti-avoidance rules, which are designed to ensure everyone pays their fair share of tax.

If you have received a dividend that has Australian franking credits attached from a New Zealand franking company, you may be eligible to claim the Australian sourced franking credits.

The policy of giving cash back for unused franking credits was introduced in 2000 by then Howard Government treasurer Peter Costello and for the last 17 years it has been systematically rorted by superannuation funds, private corporations, trusts and individuals - to the point where Treasury pays out an est. $6 billion per annum under this scheme.

With one individual whopaid no income tax reportedly received millions claiming cash for unused franking credits and the average unused credits cash back payment for people in the top 1% of self-managed super funds being est. $83,000 a year.

In March 2018 Federal Labor announced a policy effective January 2019 which removes claims for franking credits - but only in those years that the prospective claimant has no income tax liability payable.

So ending taxpayer-subsidised money for jam for around est. 9 per cent of the population who were receiving cash refunds for tax they had never paid .

Turnbull, Morrison & Co then came out fighting – accusing Opposition Leader Bill Shorten of robbing low income self-funded retirees and aged pensioners.

At that point, somewhat predictably, embarrassment for the Turnbull Government began…..

What Treasurer and Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison considered low income retirees was elucidated.

The Australian, 14 March 2018:

A retired couple living in a $2m house, with $3.2m in super, are classified as ‘‘low income’’. They have no income tax liability. They could also have an investment property and still wouldn’t have a tax liability because of the bizarre “senior and pensioners’ tax offset”, which lifts their effective tax-free threshold to about $58,000.

Turnbull & Co were accused of telling political lies.

The Guardian, 14 March 2018:

You won’t have missed the foghorn blast from the Turnbull government and its media amplifiers that has accompanied Labor’s latest bold foray on tax policy.

Scott Morrison has declared Labor is stealing tax refunds from pensioners and low-income retirees, and Malcolm Turnbull says Bill Shorten “is going after the savings of your parents and their friends and their contemporaries”.

So how do these terrifying-sounding claims stack up?

Let’s bring in the respected economist Saul Eslake, who has no political dog in this race. Eslake is blunt. He says the government’s posturing is “misleading in the same way that most of what Scott Morrison said about Labor’s policy on negative gearing was misleading”.

To understand precisely what is misleading – the first thing to know is when we are talking about Australian retirees having low incomes, often what that means is people have low taxable incomes.

Income from superannuation funds is tax free once people turn 60. Eslake says the decision to make income from super tax free is “top of my list of the dumbest tax policy decisions of the last 25 years”.

It means people with substantial assets, and big super balances – millionaires in fact – are in a position to report low taxable income, and in fact structure their affairs to ensure they have low taxable income.

They were also quite rightly accused of knowing that dividend imputation à la Costello is an expensive rort.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 13 March 2018:

Treasury considered dividend imputation reform in the lead up to Treasurer Scott Morrison's last budget, creating a dossier entitled "Tax Policy - Dividend Imputation" more than a year before Labor announced it would target the tax refunds of more than one million Australians on Tuesday.

The confidential file itemised in a list required to be disclosed by departments as part of freedom of information requirements was opened by Treasury in the first-half of last year.

Fairfax Media understands Treasury has been examining withholding dividend cheques from non-taxpaying shareholders ahead of this year's May budget.
Investigating potential savings needed to fund budget initiatives such as personal income tax cuts is normal practice in the pre-budget period.

Mr Morrison said on Tuesday the "government has never entertained" changes to the way it gives cash back to shareholders in response to a policy he described as a "cruel blow for retirees and pensioners," but his predecessor Joe Hockey first asked how dividend imputation could be improved - not replaced - three years ago. 

A white discussion paper on tax reform commissioned by Mr Hockey and completed by Treasury in 2015 found "there are some revenue concerns with the refundability of imputation credits," indicating the department was receiving lower tax revenues than it expected. 

"It provides a greater incentive for shareholders of closely held companies to delay distributions until a time when individual owners are subject to a relatively low tax rate, to receive a refund of tax paid by the company." 

The list published by Treasury shows the department's work on dividend imputation policy continued after Mr Morrison became Treasurer in 2016…..

Labor, which has not released Parliamentary Budget Office costings of its policy, said it planned on cancelling an average cash refund of $5000 on share dividends from 8 per cent of taxpayers, including 200,000 voters who self-manage their own super funds and 1 per cent of full pensioners..….

Image found on Twitter

"Rethink: Better tax, better Australia" discussion paper information here and submissions here.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Employer groups put pressure on Turnbull Government to stifle union mergers


In 2017 members of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia (TCFUA) considered a proposal to amalgamate into one union or alternatively to amalgamate only the CFMEU and the MUA.

The ballot was conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) and results declared on 28 November 2017. There appears to have been no irregularities affecting the ballot outcome.

The Fair Work Commission handed down a decision giving effect to the CFMEU and MUA amalgamation on 27 March 2018.

Employer groups Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) and Master Builders Australia (MBA) are now appealing the Commission’s decision.

The Australian, 9 March 2018, p.2.

Employers have taken legal ­action to try to overturn the Fair Work Commission decision ­approving the merger of the construction and maritime unions.

The Australian Mines and Metals Association and Master Builders Australia yesterday ­appealed the decision to a ­commission full bench.

The employers are also seeking a stay of the decision, which, if granted, would mean the merger would not proceed from its scheduled date of March 27.

The AMMA and MBA say the commission decision contained errors of laws and should not have approved the amalgamation.

Maritime Union of Australia national secretary Paddy Crumlin said the unions would vigorously oppose the appeal and defend the rights of workers to have freedom of association.

“Our members have overwhelmingly supported this amalgamation (with the CFMEU) and it should be up to them to decide whether they merge,” he said.

Former employment minister Eric Abetz welcomed the ­appeal, saying the government should intervene in the proceedings in support of the employer application. He said the government should move urgently to pass laws subjecting union ­mergers to a public interest test.

Workplace Relations Minister Craig Laundy said the government would resume talks with Senate crossbenchers in a bid to win support for the bill, which has yet to be put to a vote.

AMMA is lobbying for an amendment to the bill designed to have the public interest test take affect before March 27 but Mr Laundy declined to express a view on the proposed amendment.

The Australian, 8 March 2018:

Employers have accused the Turnbull government of being missing in action after the Coalition failed to pass laws subjecting union mergers to a public interest test.

Workplace Relations Minister Craig Laundy said today the government would resume talks with Senate crossbenchers in a bid to win support for the bill, which has yet to be put to a Senate vote.

 “The Ensuring Integrity Bill remains a priority for the Government, but because of Labor’s opposition we need the support of the crossbench,’’ he said.

“Despite what has been said in recent days, the Government simply didn’t have the numbers to pass the Bill. I am reaching out to the crossbench to see if that has changed.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

So Prime Minister Turnbull has been bitiching again about the ABC's reporting



On 14 February 2018 ABC News’ economic journalist Emma Alberici wrote:

It's also disingenuous to talk about a 30 per cent rate when so few companies pay anything like that thanks to tax legislation that allows them to avoid paying corporate tax. Exclusive analysis released by ABC today reveals one in five of Australia's top companies has paid zero tax for the past three years.

On that same day the House of Representatives Hansard recorded these mentions:

Mr THISTLETHWAITE (Kingsford Smith) (10:12): ………All of these hardworking Australians would be thrilled to know—very pleased to know—that the ABC has uncovered that about one in five Australian companies pay no company tax whatsoever in this country. Yes, that's right: 380 of Australia's largest companies pay absolutely no income tax at all—a big doughnut; a big fat zero. They include airlines, banks, financial service companies, mining, energy, clothing, steel, and telecommunications companies. There's even a condom manufacturer. That's rather appropriate, given what they've just done to the Australian taxpayer in paying no tax at all during the course of the last couple of years…..

Mr THISTLETHWAITE (Kingsford Smith) (13:49): As mums and dads pack up the kids, send them off to school and head off to work; as pensioners struggle to put the air-conditioner on because of rising electricity costs; and as students face increases in their fees because of cuts to TAFE and cuts to funding for education—these hard-working Australians, as they head off to jobs and study today, would be pleased to know that the ABC has uncovered that one in five Australian companies pay absolutely no company tax in this country. That's right, 380 of Australia's largest companies paid absolutely zero company tax over the course of the last three years. They include airlines, energy companies, mining companies, clothing companies, banks, insurance companies and a manufacturer of condoms—which is highly appropriate, given the rogering that they've just given Australian hardworking taxpayers by paying no tax. Now, given that these companies pay no corporate tax, what is the response of the Turnbull government? The response of the Turnbull government is to give them a tax cut. These companies are struggling so much that we're going to give them a tax cut! Yes, that's right: 380 of the largest companies that pay no tax will get a tax cut, despite the fact that they're increasing taxes for Australian workers by putting up the Medicare levy. We won't cop it. Labor will oppose these tax cuts and we'll stand up for average, hard-working, battling Australians……

Mr TURNBULL (Wentworth—Prime Minister) (14:03): I thank the honourable member for her question. The government is supporting and delivering lower business taxes because we know they will result in more investment and more jobs. Company tax is ultimately a tax on workers. When nearly nine in 10 Australians work for private business, surely it is obvious that it's in the national interest to support the companies that employ the overwhelming majority of Australians. But, instead of supporting policies that will create jobs and grow wages, the opposition is busy peddling the myth that business does not care about the level of tax and doesn't in fact pay tax. I'm not sure where the $68 billion of company tax receipts came from, but, according to the Labor Party, companies don't pay tax. The Labor Party wants to increase taxes; the government wants to reduce them. But we do not believe that paying tax is optional. Every Australian and every business that makes a profit in Australia must pay their fair share of tax. You'd think that was common sense, but not for the opposition. Like everything the opposition leader does, he calls for action one minute and then opposes it the next. He called for action against multinational tax avoidance and then he voted against some of the toughest anti-avoidance laws in the world. If this isn't clear enough for the members opposite, we'd be happy to arrange a briefing with officials from the Australian Taxation Office. We have introduced and, no thanks to the Labor Party, passed through the parliament some of the toughest multinational tax avoidance laws in the world. At that briefing from the ATO, I am sure that those distinguished officials will be able to provide a tutorial on the difference between revenue and profit because members opposite either don't understand the difference or they're now calling for businesses to be taxed on revenue—not profit— even if the business makes a loss. We saw that they were busily retweeting the article—one of the most confused and poorly researched articles I've seen on this topic on the ABC's website. Of course, the ABC is an enterprise that understands profit and loss.

Opposition members interjecting—

Mr TURNBULL: It does! It understands taxes; they're recipients of them. They receive them—taxpayers' funds. They understand the difference: the hard work of investing and struggling and losing money one year and then being able to offset it against profit the next—or not. No, the ABC has the same understanding of the commercial world as does the opposition. (Time expired)

The Australian Financial Review scenting blood after the prime minister’s criticism went to print with this disingenuous take on 15 February 2018:

Both premises fatally expose their author's innumeracy. The first is demonstrably false. Freely available data produced by the Australian Taxation Office show that 32 of Australia's 50 largest companies paid $19.33 billion in company tax in FY16 (FY17 figures are not yet available). The other 18 paid nothing. Why? They lost money, or were carrying over previous losses.

I’m sure North Coast Voices readers will quickly notice that Alberici was citing statistics for a baseline of around 1,900 companies and the ‘Fin Review’ columnist was citing a baseline of 50 companies - so of course the number of companies paying no tax to the number of companies paying tax is going to differ between the two baselines.

Reading the full text there does not appear to be any factuall inaccuracies in the Alberici article being complained about.

Meanwhile ABC News withdrew the online version of the economic analysis


 and updated Alberici’s companion article in order to provide further information and context.

The companion article still contains those same statistics:

Analysis by the ABC reveals Qantas is not alone — about 380, or one in five, of Australia's largest companies have paid no tax for at least the past three years.

However, these opening lines written by Alberici in the article “There's no case for a corporate tax cut when one in five of Australia's top companies don't pay it” on 14 February are now missing in action as this analysis gently sinks to the bottom of the Internet:

There is no compelling evidence that giving the country's biggest companies a tax cut sees that money passed on to workers in the form of higher wages.
Treasury modelling relies on theories that belie the reality that's playing out around the world.

Since the peak of the commodities boom in 2011-12, profit margins have risen to levels not seen since the early 2000s but wages growth has been slower than at any time since the 1960s.

The Guardian reported on 16 February that:

Guardian Australia understands ABC News management has been in crisis meetings for two days after the prime minister attacked the articles in question time and then wrote formal letters of complaint to management.

I suspect that what Turnbull took umbrage to in the first place was the fact that one article took a stronger position on why corporate tax cuts were not good for the economy or wages growth and, therefore were unlikely to benefit workers and their families and, the other article which is still online did not address this aspect of government taxation policy.

So he set out to shoot the message down and be damned to the fate of the messenger.

Of course in attempting this Turnbull created a Steisand Effect With A Twist - ensuring that the full text of There's no case for a corporate tax cut when one in five of Australia's top companies don't pay it” has been copied onto websites he can't bully and the article's analysis is still being discussed by voters.

BACKGROUND

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/...abc-turnbull.../story-fna045gd-1226869241476?...
Jan 26, 2018 - COMMUNICATIONS Minister Malcolm Turnbull says ABC board members who do not want to get involved in ensuring news content on the public broadcaster is accurate and impartial should get off the board. Revealing he receives hundreds of complaints about the ABC each week, MrTurnbull said “the ..


https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/...turnbull...abc.../ff6ad001ced93bb9c40eee1f4c839...

Dec 2, 2013 - THE minister in charge of the ABC, Malcolm Turnbull, rang the broadcasters boss Mark Scott last week to tell him he had made an “error of judgment” in teaming with the Guardian to run revelations that the Indonesian presidents phone was bugged.


https://delimiter.com.au/.../watch-turnbull-implies-complained-abc-failed-nbn-coverag...
Feb 4, 2016 - Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull appears to have implied that he made the samecomplaint to ABC management that he has previously made in public before the 2013 Federal Election, stating that the broadcaster had "failed" to provide balanced coverage of the competing National Broadband Network ...

This report contains the total income, taxable income and tax payable of over 2000 corporate tax entities for the 2015-16 year. This report also includes separate lists of entities whose information was not available by the cut-off date to produce the Report of Entity Tax Information for 2013-14 and 2014-15.