Media Releases | 12th May, 2015

Budget 2015: the multinational tax dodge Hockey missed


12 May 2015

While Treasurer Joe Hockey’s signature crackdown on tax avoidance targets multinationals shifting profits overseas, it overlooks tax avoidance by multinationals in our own backyard, said Environment Victoria in response to the Federal Budget released tonight.

“In his speech Treasurer Joe Hockey said we ‘want people or companies who are avoiding their tax to pay their fair share’, but his budget completely ignored the $2.5 billion in subsidies going to highly profitable mining companies,” said Nick Roberts, Campaigns Director at Environment Victoria.

The Fuel Tax Credit Scheme is a $7 billion per year federal government subsidy for diesel consumption – one of the largest single expenditure programs in the country. Environment Victoria has been calling for the government to introduce a cap which would save around $2 billion each year by taking the subsidy away mostly from huge mining companies with billion-dollar profits.

“Twenty-four hours ago Treasurer Joe Hockey gave the Tax Commissioner new powers to claw back billions of dollars of profits shifted overseas. By failing to cap the unfair diesel fuel rebate to rich miners, Joe Hockey has effectively given them a $2 billion lump sum payout.”

There have been worldwide calls to end fossil fuel subsidies for a number of years from the United Nations, The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

“Even Abbott Government climate contrarian poster-boy Bjorn Lomborg has called to end fossil fuel handouts.”

“A cap would also reduce a scheme that is currently subsidising over eight percent of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions. This would save money, grow renewables and reduce pollution. Most Australians want investment in clean energy, just not Joe Hockey and the Abbott Government.”

“If the Treasurer wants to talk about tax avoidance, he also needs to look at the subsidies enjoyed by these multinational mining companies in our own backyard.”

For more information, download Environment Victoria’s diesel rebate budget briefing paper.


For comment:

Nick Roberts, Environment Victoria Campaigns Director, Mob: 0429945429