CPSU backs Global Week of Action to End Tax Havens

The CPSU has thrown its support behind the Global Week of Action to End Tax Havens, with Australia in desperate need of reforms to fund public services and stimulate the economy.

Events are being run around the world during the week of action, held one year on from the release of the explosive Panama Papers, to highlight the massive scale of tax evasion.

The leak contained 11 million documents from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, revealing a global network of shell companies and secret bank accounts being used to facilitate tax evasion, fraud, drug trafficking and arms deals.

CPSU Assistant National Secretary Michael Tull said: “The CPSU believes Australia and indeed the world is in desperate need of a robust and properly functioning tax system so multinational companies and the mega-rich contribute to society rather than just leaching off it. That’s why we’re a keen participant in this week of action.”

“Many of Australia’s largest companies and wealthiest individuals are paying little or no tax at all, at the same time as they’re hollowing out the rest of the economy by sending local work overseas or downgrading quality, permanent jobs to casual, lower paid positions.”

“Tax avoidance on such a massive scale doesn’t take place in a vacuum. It’s one of the reasons why essential public services and living standards in Australia are under so much pressure. Tackling this issue effectively would mean more money for schools, hospitals and countless other services.”

“This issue is the elephant in the room when it comes to Commonwealth underfunding. The Turnbull Government squibs on making the very wealthy pay tax, then makes cuts that cause outcomes like the 36 million calls to Centrelink that went unanswered last year, the robo-debt crisis and the Census debacle. The Government's even axed 5,000 Tax Office staff, making it even tougher to make our tax system work for all Australians.”

“The Turnbull Government seems determined to put its wealthy mates ahead of ordinary Australians. Counter-productive business tax cuts were confirmed by Parliament last week at the same time as the Government starts spruiking another round of potential Budget cuts.”

“There’s absolutely no evidence to support the idea that these business tax cuts will stimulate the economy or help anyone except the rich. On the other hand the CPSU’s Budget submission makes it clear that the damage that’s been caused to essential public services has gone past a tipping point, and that without urgent repairs the repercussions are only going to get worse.”