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Greens use government bill to repeal government bill

The Senate has voted to repeal the Turnbull government's so-called "kidnap law," which passed only last month and exempted private companies - with turnover of $100 million dollars or more - from having to disclose their tax affairs.

"The passage of this Greens amendment is a big victory for the community - we've improved a multinational tax avoidance bill so that it also improves the financial disclosure and tax transparency of big companies," said Greens Leader Richard Di Natale.

"The so-called ‘kidnap bill' should never have passed. The government was never told that private company bosses were at risk of kidnapping if they kept disclosing their tax affairs - it was a ridiculous excuse to damage tax transparency.

"We know increasing tax transparency is one of the most important ways to minimise tax avoidance. Instead of cutting family payments and trying to increase the GST, Malcolm Turnbull should make an effort to collect the tax dollars owed to Australia.

"Public pressure has been building on the Liberals since the Greens initiated the Senate Inquiry into Corporate Tax Avoidance, revealing the scale of the problem. Changing this law is a big step in the right direction."

Greens finance spokesperson Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said:

"Today was democracy in action, which delivered a great win for tax transparency.

"Companies and wealthy individuals shouldn't be able to get away with hiding their tax affairs from the public for made up reasons like kidnapping risk.

"The Greens, ALP and cross-bench have worked constructively together in the public interest today, while the Liberals were busy trying to protect their big business mates.

"The so-called ‘Rich Mates Act amendment bill' was pushed through the Senate last month without a vote, and I'm so pleased we've been able to create this chance to repeal it," said Senator Whish-Wilson.

The Greens amendment was agreed to and passed as part of the government's Tax Laws Amendment (Combating Multinational Tax Avoidance) Bill 2015, which now goes back to the House of Representatives for approval as amended.


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