The G20′s Most Taxing Issue

By on 17 November 2014

Professor Sinclair Davidson, a member of the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance Board of Advisers,  recently discussed the issue of international tax competition in International Banker:

In Australia, at least, big business pays a very fair share of income tax. According to OECD figures, Australian businesses paid 19.7 percent of total tax revenue in company income tax in 2011, compared to an average of 8.7 percent for the OECD as a whole. In short, there is no reason for the Australian government to believe that it is being short-changed in its company-tax receipts.

Nonetheless the issue is on the agenda, and many governments are keen to be seen to be doing something. The European Union-a member of the G20 in its own right-and the OECD, in particular, have been very vocal in this area.

Big-government advocates, including government itself, have been able to generate a campaign of misinformation around company tax through anti-business prejudice and rational ignorance. All this has combined to create a series of tax myths-those beliefs that the public “knows” to be true, yet are entirely misleading, if not false. One of those tax myths is that business doesn’t pay a “fair share” of tax. Another myth is that declining company-tax rates result in reduced company-tax revenue. Between the early 1990s and 2006-immediately before the Great Recession-company-tax revenue within the OECD had increased as a percentage of total tax revenue.

Anti-business sentiment is cyclical. Rational ignorance is a bigger problem for business. Many voters find taxation to be boring and highly complex. In this environment it becomes easy to propagate the fiscal illusion that the tax burden is lower than it actually is or that government adds more value than it actually does.

Read the whole thing.

MEDIA RELEASE: G20 Pro-Capitalism “Free The Markets” Rally This Saturday

By on 11 November 2014

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance (ATA), Australia’s leading non-partisan grassroots free-market activist body, is proud to announce a coalition of pro-liberty organisations will be rallying in support of free trade and free markets at the G20 summit in Brisbane this Saturday. The rally will be held at 11:00am on Saturday 15th of November at Southbank Parklands, Brisbane.

Confirmed speakers currently include The Hon Dr Gary Johns, Director of the Australian Institute for Progress and former Minsiter in the Keating Government, Andrew Laming MP, Member for Bowman, Gabriel Buckley, National President of the Liberal Democratic Party, Cr Adrian Schrinner, Deputy Mayor of Brisbane, and Dan Ryan, a Director of the Hong-Kong based Lion Rock Institute.

“We are rallying to demonstrate to world leaders that despite the howls from vested interests, there is popular support among ordinary Australians for free markets” said rally spokesman Ben Riley. “We may not be important enough to enter the G20, but our ideas are.

“We are looking to shirtfront the world leaders, figuratively of course, to sticking to their stated aim of reducing trade barriers. Free Markets are the best way to progress society.

“Freeing markets will promote the collaboration and cooperation of people to voluntarily work together and make the world a better place” concluded Mr Riley.

Other groups supporting the rally include the The Young Liberal Movement of Australia, the Australian Liberal Students’ Federation, Australia & New Zealand Students for Liberty, and the Australian Libertarian Society.

“Last Sunday marked the 25th anniversary of the falling of the Berlin Wall” said Tim Andrews, Executive Director of the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance. “Free markets were proven beyond all doubt as the only way to ensure peace and prosperity.

“It is a disgrace that so many other protestors want a return to the failed policies of the past. It is because of economic freedom that “extreme poverty” in the world plummeted a staggering 86% in the last 30 years and everyone’s living standards have risen. This is one of the greatest achievements humankind has witnessed. We can’t allow extremists to capture the agenda and return us to the policies of failure.

“Professional protestors and radical agitators don’t represent Australia, and this Saturday, we will show the world that Australia supports economic freedom. We call on all world leaders to use this summit to demonstrate their commitment to prosperity and take action to bring about true free trade.

Media Contact:
Ben Riley
(m) 0423 582 756
(e) benjamin.john.riley@gmail.com

G20 Free The Markets Rally

By on 10 November 2014

Join us at the G20 Free The Markets Rally!!!
Do you want to get involved in the G20 but aren’t important enough to get an invite? Do you have too much common sense and personal hygiene to join one of the many socialist rallies? Do you agree the best way for society to progress is through free markets?Well, here’s the event for you.Our peaceful and family friendly rally will be based on the lawn at the Liana Lounge within the South Bank Parklands (opposite the ABC studios). With renowned free market advocates as guest speakers we will be supporting and encouraging the G20 world leaders to stick to their stated aim of resisting protectionism and removing barriers to trade.

The wonders of the free market are not a new concept, it promotes peaceful cooperation between countries, skyrockets national living standards, earning power in every socioeconomic level and helps fight poverty across the world. Beyond that, it gives the opportunity to everyone with drive, personal ambition and the courage to take risks a real chance to succeed.

If world leaders are serious about creating a peaceful world with less poverty and more economic growth they must free the markets. The OECD estimates that reducing global trade costs by just 1 per cent could result in a worldwide income increase of US$40 billion, with 65 per cent of the benefits going to developing countries. Even Bono agrees. In a recent speech he stated “Aid is just a stop-gap. Commerce—entrepreneurial capitalism—takes more people out of poverty than aid.”

So join with us on Saturday the 15th and call on the G20 Leader’s Summit to maintain their goals of reducing trade barriers. We need each and every one of you to help us put pressure on these world leaders to keep their word and help fight the problems of poverty, war and economic distress.

DATE: Saturday 15th of August
TIME: 11:00am
PLACE: South Bank Parklands, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 4101

The Foul Stench of Smoking-Related Addiction To Taxpayer Funds

A Question Of Integrity By on 15 October 2014

Monday’s revelation that professional nanny statist Mike Daube blatantly lied to the government and public about the Carmen Debacle is only the tip of the iceberg about the shady dealings of Healthway.

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance has uncovered millions of dollars of taxpayer dollars have been funneled to…  the personal activist groups of Healthway Board Members.

Healthway is a taxpayer funded West Australian Government Agency, already under investigation by the Public Sector Commission following a damning report by the State Government’s Auditor General.  Included in the report are items such as the former Executive Director using corporate boxes for his family and other alleged incidents of misuse of sponsorship funding (why do they have corporate boxes in the first place?)

A column in today’s West Australian by Paul Murray, whose investigative journalism on this matter has been nothing short of amazing,  noted  millions of dollars of taxpayer funds given by Healthway to groups associated with Mike Daube at a time he was a Board Member of Healthway noting: “Healthway grants made to Curtin University programs, totaling more than $2 million from a pool of $18 million. In the most recent financial year, $2.7 million was provided for organisations in which three board members, including Professor Daube and Dr Capolingua, had direct connections” Read the whole thing (and it’s particularly commendable that this story was run given that Healthway also gives taxpayer dollars to… The West Australian!)

But as bad as that story is – the actual situation is even worse. A lot worse.  (more…)

MEDIA RELEASE: Prof Mike Daube Must Resign; Urgent Investigation Into Healthway Required

By on 13 October 2014

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance (ATA) has called for the resignation of Professor Mike Daube from the Board of the taxpayer-funded Healthway, following revelations that he has misled the government and the WA public, and for the West Australian Government to launch a full investigation into Healthway’s administration and finances to ensure its sponsorship dollars are not being misused.

Investigations by the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance have also determined that Healthway has distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer funds to Professor Daube’s activist groups raising serious questions about due process and potential conflicts of interest.

Healthway was internationally ridiculed last week for using its sponsorship powers to prevent West Australian Opera from producing Bizet’s classic Carmen. At the time, Professor Daube denied claims of Healthway’s influence. The West Australian newspaper reported on leaked minutes from the April Healthway Board specifically naming Professor Mike Daube as being the key figure responsible for promoting this policy. Similarly, Saturday’s Australian newspaper reported that Healthway previously pressured a theatre group demanding script changes to remove a smoking scene in a local production at the Blue Room (heroin injection was okay). WA Premier Colin Barnett has since intervened to reinstate Carmen, and is reviewing Healthway’s functions while the WA Division of the Liberal Party last week unanimously demanded a complete overhaul of Healthway’s operations, and for the Government to pass legislation preventing Directors being appointed by “vested interest groups”.

“Following these explosive revelations, Professor Daube’s position on the Board of Healthway is completely untenable” said Tim Andrews, Executive Director of the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance.

“It is completely unacceptable for a board member of a taxpayer funded government agency to deliberately mislead both the public and the government. Not only did Professor Daube railroad Healthway into not taking options to prevent this debacle proposed by its Arts Advisory Committee, he later lied about it. Professor Daube has been caught red-handed, and must face the consequences of his deceit.

“Furthermore, investigations by the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance have determined that Professor Daube’s various activist groups have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer funding from Healthway, at a time when Professor Daube was on the Healthway Board. If we can’t trust Professor Daube on Carmen, how can we trust him on anything?

“There is a clear perception of conflict of interest, and, given today’s revelations, a full investigation must be launched into the operations of Healthway and its distribution of taxpayer funds to determine whether any improper or undue influence was at work.”

“It is vital that the distribution of taxpayer funds be honest, open, and transparent. Today’s revelations have demonstrated that Healthway has operated completely contrary to the most fundamental principles of good government. At a time the West Australian Government is calling for tax hikes, taxpayers’ should be assured that their funds are being spent appropriately. A full investigation and audit of Healthway’s administration and finances is needed”

 

Media Contact: Tim Andrews, Executive Director, Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance. Mobile: 0434 064 934 , Email: tandrews@taxpayers.org.au

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