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Greens to make gas corporations pay their fair share of tax

Media Release
Adam Bandt 20 Apr 2022

On Wednesday, Greens Leader Adam Bandt and Greens spokesperson for Mining and Resources Senator Dorinda Cox will be in Karratha, WA to launch the final component of the Greens’ Tycoon Tax, which will end tax breaks for corporations undertaking offshore gas extraction in Commonwealth waters and oblige them to pay royalties on the natural resources that rightfully belong to the people of Australia.

The Greens will push the new tax in balance of power in the Senate after the next election.

The Greens’ plan will repair the broken superprofits tax on the profits of oil and gas corporations operating in Gorgon, Wheatstone, Pluto and Prelude gas fields and require them to finally pay royalties on the gas they currently extract and sell for free. The plan is costed by the PBO and is expected to return at least $92.3 billion to the budget over the decade, bringing the total revenue that will be raised by super profits taxes on tycoons to $430 billion.

The Australian Tax Office has referred to the gas industry as “systemic non-payers of tax”. The combined value of the tax credits held by gas corporations is bigger than the GDP of Finland or Portugal at $282 billion. Despite gas revenues reaching tens of billions of dollars each year, the ATO expects no significant tax revenue from gas companies until “the mid-2030s”. Many  of these gas companies will never pay any tax at all under the current laws.

Greens analysis of the latest year of corporate tax data shows there are 27 gas companies that earned $77,088,581,964 in revenue without a single cent in tax being paid between them.

Chevron is the worst offender: they dominate WA’s gas market through Gorgon and Wheatstone, yet not once in all the years of corporate tax data have they ever voluntarily paid any company tax or PRRT (Petroleum Resource Rent Tax). 

An aged care nurse in Karratha would have paid more tax in one month than Chevron has voluntarily paid in seven years from their $39,957,988,302 of income. 

Revenue raised through wiping tax credits and implementing royalties will fund urgent national priorities including hospitals and housing, as well as supporting national cost of living measures such as getting dental and mental health into Medicare, building affordable housing, making childcare free, fixing Centrelink including raising all rates and lowering the age pension back to 65 and wiping student debt. 

Qatar exports the same amount of LNG as Australia, they raise around $37 billion AUD a year from their gas companies, yet Australia couldn’t even manage to raise $2 billion from a broken super profits tax.

Lines attributable to Australian Greens leader Adam Bandt MP:

“In just one year, 27 big gas corporations brought in $77b in income but paid no tax. 

“When a nurse pays more tax than a multinational, something is seriously wrong.

“The Greens will make big gas corporations pay their fair share of tax to help get dental into Medicare.

“Australia’s natural resources belong to the people, but Liberal and Labor are giving away our gas for free, losing billions of dollars that should be funding hospitals and schools.

“The people of WA currently contribute more tax through car registrations than the multi-billion dollar gas industry pays for gas. 

“WA is being taken to the cleaners by big coal and gas corporations, and Australians are being ripped off.

“No other business gets their raw materials for free, but Woodside, Chevron and Exxon get free gas from this tax rort and then make obscene profits that they send offshore.

“Mining and burning coal and gas isn’t just driving the climate crisis, these big corporations are driving the cost of living crisis too.”

Lines attributable to Senator Dorinda Cox, Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia:

“Real climate action means phasing out gas and coal by 2030, and keeping new gas and coal in the ground. Both the Liberals and Labor back more gas and coal. They take millions in donations from gas and coal billionaires & big corporations.

“Western Australia is in a climate crisis caused by the mining and burning of gas and coal. Our state currently gets more revenue from car registrations than we do from the multi-billion dollar gas industry. At a time of climate crisis, Western Australia is the only state where climate polluting emissions are going up, not down.

“By making gas corporations pay their fair share of tax, the Greens will power a clean energy revolution that will create hundreds of thousands of well-paid, long-term jobs, enabling workers in fossil fuel industries to transition away from polluting industries and into the clean, green renewable energy jobs.

“By making every billionaire and corporation pay their fair share, we can build a safer future for all of us. We will use this money to deliver real climate action, build 118,000 new homes in WA to tackle the housing crisis and include dental and mental health care into Medicare.”

 

Find out more:

Greens Plan: Make billionaires & big corporations pay their fair share

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