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NFPs welcomes hold on company tax cuts

The not-for-profit sector welcomes the Senate’s decision to hold off on the company tax cuts until after by-elections

Not-for-profits across the sector are celebrating the decision to put off tax cuts by the Senate, ultimately saving cuts to essential services for at least the next month.

Laws to cut the tax rates for big businesses will be put on hold until after five upcoming by-elections due to the coalition not receiving enough support to pass them. However, company tax cuts can return to parliament as early as August 13.

Oxfam Australia’s economic policy advisor, Joy Kyriacou, said in a statement before the hold that Turnbull’s plan to push ahead with the cuts was “utterly inconceivable.”

“Slashing the corporate tax rate would undermine attempts to tackle inequality and poverty, both in Australia and around the world. When governments enter a race to the bottom on corporate tax rates, everyday people lose.”

The coalition wants to cut the tax rate for big businesses with a turnover of more than $50 million a year from 30 per cent to 25 per cent. According to Senator Cormann, the government are still committed to seeing through the tax cuts.

“Who knows? We might have a more business-friendly Labor leader, all sorts of things could be different by the by-elections,” Cormann said.

Labor are opposed to the business cuts and have been pressuring Senator Hanson, who controls two votes, not to vote for them. Hanson appears to have hardened her regularly-shifting stance, telling the government to take the package to an election.

Labor frontbencher, Tanya Plibersek, said before the government announced the hold, “We very much urge One Nation not to cave in at the last minute.”

“Oxfam estimates around $5-6 billion is lost to Australia’s public purse through the tax avoidance practices of multinationals, and global estimates are that the poorest countries loose well over $100 billion annually,” Kyriacou said.

“This is money that should be spent on the things everyday people need: schools, hospitals, roads and public infrastructure. It would also be completely nonsensical to promise a crackdown on multinationals that are avoiding paying their fair share of tax in exchange for rewarding big business with these tax cuts.”

Oxfam Australia said the nation should be cracking down on tax avoidance, including by introducing public country-by-country reporting that requires large companies to declare details of income, taxes paid and profits around the world.

“The stubborn push for these tax cuts comes with little evidence of benefits to the economy and community – and in exchange for no more ‘pinky promise’ that big business will invest more in jobs and wage growth.”

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