Clueless from Canberra

It’s one thing to be clueless.  It’s another thing to be in Parliament.  It’s yet another thing to be a former academic seeking to legislate and regulate from a basis of utter ignorance.

Welcome to the mic, Dr Andrew Leigh, Member for Fenner in the ACT.  Dr Leigh’s current titles include:

  • Shadow Assistant Treasurer.
  • Shadow Minister for Competition and Productivity
  • Shadow Minister for Trade in Services
  • Shadow Minister for Charities and Not for Profits.

The only thing missing is Shadow Minister for No Flipping Idea.

Granted the Shadow Portfolio for No Flipping Idea would be very much coveted in the current opposition, but Dr Leigh well deserves it with a demonstrated track record.  The other opposition members can fight over Shadow Minister for Misleading and Deceiving and Shadow Minister for Economic Illiteracy.

To well justify his qualifications for this shadow portfolio, yesterday, Dr Leigh issued a media release indicating that said that:

Labor will introduce a Tax Haven Blacklist to appropriately vet investments from countries that fail to comply with international standards.

What these “international standards” are and who sets them will be interesting.  One suspect that “international standards” is bureaucratese for anyone with tax rates less than the extortionary rates of Europe and Australia.

But Dr Leigh is not yet finished:

Under Labor, companies that operate out of the most notorious tax havens will be prevented from engaging in tax avoidance activities in Australia.

Does he mean that companies engaging in criminal activity, what with tax avoidance being a criminal act, will be prevented from engaging in such criminal activity in Australia?  But what if Sally McManus and the ACTU think that engaging in this particular criminal activity is justified?  Will a Labor government permit this?

How about this for a real life question.  Follows is an extract from the Australian Super annual report.  It seems that Australian Super not only invests in evil companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Google, but they give money to manage to companies who will almost certainly based in these so called “Tax Havens”.

What da Labor Party gonna do?  Well according to Dr Leigh:

Only Labor will crack down on the tax havens.

Should Australians expect Labor to reintroduce conscription to provide the personpower (can’t use manpower anymore) for Australia to invade the flowing “black listed” hot spots so that such a crack down can occur?

Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Guernsey, Monaco, Mauritius, Liberia, Seychelles, Brunei, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Grenada, Montserrat, Panama, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis, Turks and Caicos, US Virgin Islands

What a moron.  But an ALP front bench moron.

Extracts from Australian Super 2018 Annual Report:

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15 Responses to Clueless from Canberra

  1. Nato

    Linde @ #12?
    Snooch to the nooch, forkies!!!

  2. Fred

    The Future Fund, i.e. the Australian government, has 35% of its listed equity investments in the United States.

    I wonder how much of that is with Google, Amazon and Facebook?

    And will a Shorten government start telling the Future Fund which companies it can and can’t invest in?

  3. Tim Neilson

    Does he mean that companies engaging in criminal activity, what with tax avoidance being a criminal act,

    Well actually the terminology is ambiguous, but “tax avoidance” can mean only lawful exploitation of loopholes, as contrasted with illegal “tax evasion”.

    But the gist of TAKFAS’s post is correct.

    Pretty much every investment into Australia by an offshore consortium will come in via a “tax haven”, whether it’s private equity, venture capital or infrastructure investment.

    And a lot of outbound investment goes via tax havens too.

    The reason is simple. There’s normally tax in the investment destination. There’s normally tax in each investor’s home country. If the collective investment vehicle (CIV) was based in a taxing jurisdiction that would be three potential lots of tax on any investor which wasn’t based in the CIV’s home jurisdiction. So international investment consortia would be largely untenable without non-taxing systems for CIV’s.

    Strangely enough Australia purportedly gives tax-free status to “conduit foreign income” – i.e. in principle we treat cross-border CIV’s pretty much the same as the Caymans does. It’s just that we’re incapable of drafting a simple set of rules that actually work.

  4. Dr Fred Lenin

    Just reading about the UK parliament members, talk about elitists ,mosy off the conservatives went to schools that charge more than the averagee wage in annual fees for kids ,and all the front obench of corbyns communist party went to Oxford or Cambridge a good cross section of the productive nembers of society there .
    Bet you ours is similar , Shortens school charges $28,ooo year fees I read ,just the place for working class lads .

  5. duncanm

    To be fair, the ACTU did request this a couple of years back, so now we know who’s in charge.

    I see Australian Super has $5B invested with MFS.

    The offshoreleaks tax haven database is worth a quick search..
    .. ..
    nek minnut

  6. Like dividend confiscation, it won’t affect Trade Union investments.

  7. The BigBlueCat

    Tim Neilson
    #3007600, posted on May 8, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    You are perfectly correct, Tim. While our government decries “tax havens” like Ireland, Singapore, Dutch Antilles, Caymans, etc where those countries are now beneficiaries in billions of tax receipts because of their tax laws, I keep asking why doesn’t Australia play more of that game too? I realise there would be a ton of modelling to be done to understand the variances but are we too indolent to do the hard work on this? Sounds like we are ….

    But basically, Andrew Leigh should have his doctorate forcibly removed for such nonsense statement. Like most policy announcements from the ALP, it smacks of ignorance of the practicalities and perhaps seeks to curry favour with their crony mates (eg. trades hall) rather than do any actual good.

    BTW, that Leigh ignoramus left out Jersey … his competence must be questioned.

    His “laundry list” seems a bit autocratic too. For instance:

    Automatically denying tax deductions from companies for travel to and from tax havens and clamping down on unsubstantiated allowances for travel in tax havens. There is no reason why a company executive should get a $2,000 tax-free bonus for travelling to Bermuda.

    Crackdown on citizenship shopping – requiring all individual Australian taxpayers to notify and declare to the Australian Taxation Office if they have residency or citizenship of any other jurisdiction and the name of that jurisdiction.

    Public reporting of AUSTRAC data – publicly releasing International Funds Transfer Instructions data for every calendar year.

    Does he want to know when they sneeze as well? If he wanted to provide reasons why foreign investors shouldn’t invest in Australian companies or trade with Australia, he’s given them heaps!

  8. What’s even more ridiculous, he’s in a glorified Local Council in a big ‘company town’.

    This twit signed off on a $1.2 billion tram that goes 12km in 40 minutes.

    To bribe the Greens to support the CFMMEU party.

    Paid for by demolishing public housing slums and replacing with luxury apartments, roll your own Resi-Ponzi.

  9. John A

    Granted the Shadow Portfolio for No Flipping Idea would be very much coveted in the current opposition

    Nitpicking correction, please. The position is NOT coveted but rather, there is a large pool of “talent” eligible to fill such a post. I am sure there would be room for a Parliamentary Ass-istant to the occupier and a Senate representative as well.

  10. amortiser

    Looking at that list of tax havens, I could see the ALP banning the West Indies cricket team from touring Australia in the future.

  11. This twit signed off on a $1.2 billion tram that goes 12km in 40 minutes.

    Good lord. What a effing joke.

  12. Squirrel

    This area of policy is one of the reasons why I believe that the honeymoon for a Shorten government will be aptly brief.

    The punters are being sold on the myth that the “big end of town” and the evil, cheating etc. etc. multi-nationals will pay for all the lovely promises being held out by Labor. If it gets lucky, a Labor government will extract a bit more revenue from those sources, but the bulk of the money will still come from the much easier targets of wage and salary earners and small/medium businesses. When that penny drops, the punters will turn on Labor’s class warriors.

  13. duncanm


    this risk is, like socialsm is general, they’ll just borrow their way into the electorates hearts.

    One term would be bad enough, but imagine 8 years or more of greenfilth and Union control?

  14. Habib

    Hope he’s going to close the tax haven inhabited by trade unions, political parties and lobbyist NGOs then.

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