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Response to treasurer Hockey’s statement on multinational tax

Dr David McNair, Transparency & Accountability Policy Director at ONE and author of the report ‘Trillion Dollar Scandal’ launched yesterday in Canberra  said:

“Australian leadership could be a win-win helping Australia collect taxes and could save 3.6 million lives in the world’s poorest countries. We welcome Treasurer Hockey’s commitment to tax transparency.

“Australia must lead by example by becoming an early adopter of the Common Reporting Standard and ensuring it is in place by 2017. Not to do so could jeopardise global efforts to clamp down on corruption.

“G20 action could help end the scandal that costs the world’s poorest countries at least a trillion dollars a year.” McNair continued.

ONE’s report ‘Trillion Dollar Scandal’ launched yesterday calls on G20 leaders to take action in four areas:

  • Shine a Light on Phantom Firms: Make information public about who owns companies and trusts, to prevent anonymous shell companies and similar legal structures from being used to launder money and to conceal the identity of corrupt and criminal individuals and businesses;
  • Publish What You Pay: Introduce robust payment disclosure laws to increase transparency in the oil, gas and mining sectors to prevent natural resources in poor countries from being stolen from the people living above them building on Australia’s pilots of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initative
  • Crack down on tax evasion: Institute automatic exchange of tax information so that developing countries have the information they need to collect taxes they are due; and
  • Open Data: Publish government data so that citizens can follow the money from resources to results and hold their governments to account for the delivery of essential services.

The report highlights that at least a trillion dollars a year is siphoned out of developing countries through corrupt activity involving shady deals for natural resources, the use of phantom firms, money laundering and illegal tax evasion

‘The Trillion Dollar Scandal’, estimates that as many as 3.6 million deaths could be prevented each year in the world’s poorest countries if concrete action is taken to end the secrecy that allows corruption and criminality to thrive.

The full report is available to view and download here