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Nov 20, 2017

American CEOs show that the Business Council is lying about tax cuts

Business says company tax cuts will lead to more investment and jobs. American CEOs are most honest -- they'll use it to boost their own pay. And history shows they're right.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

It's concerning, and still a little surprising, that Australia's pre-eminent business lobby group, and its members, feel they can lie so blatantly about an important public policy issue as they are doing on company tax cuts.

In an effort to revive support for what would, at over $60 billion, be the greatest tax avoidance scam in Australian history, the Business Council is releasing a CEO survey to demonstrate that the extra money gifted by companies via the government's company tax cut would be used for investment. The survey, accompanied in the Financial Review by an op-ed from Business Council of Australia head Jennifer Westacott and backed by Malcolm Turnbull, purports to show four out of five CEOs would use tax cuts to increase investment.

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9 comments

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9 thoughts on “American CEOs show that the Business Council is lying about tax cuts

  1. old greybearded one

    CEOs lie? Who us????? I feel quite anarchic some days. Give me a cannonball and a spluttering fuse.

  2. Dog's Breakfast

    “…..purports to show four out of five CEOs would use tax cuts to increase investment.”

    It may not be a lie Bernard, they may have only surveyed 5 CEO’s, 4 of which already have plans for investment.

    But overall, the tax rate is largely a non-sequitur in terms of investment decisions. Either the investment will generate increased income and productivity, or it won’t. The ROI is only marginally changed by the tax rate, and in practical terms not at all. All ROI’s are statistically questionable assumptions made up front which are rarely if ever checked against the reality, they only exist to form a business case, and to speciously argue that the tax rate is a big factor in investment decisions.

    Given that boards are now mostly risk averse, rightly so because their record of investment is appalling, littered with examples of blowing up billions in shareholder funds, and the fact that the best way to keep your share price up is to continue to offer dividends, it is a no brainer where the money will go.

    But will there be more money from corporate tax cuts? If the current rate is 30%, and most big companies pay between 0% and 15%, where will the additional money come from?

    I’d be happy to see a tax rate that was real. We’d currently be earning more if we actually got an average of 20% from the big multi-nationals. Would they be happy with a 20% tax rate if they actually had to pay a real 20%?

    No, didn’t think so.

  3. brian crooks

    before these lying thieves are elegible for any tax cuts they better start paying tax, royal commission into big business tax avoidence is whats needed and jail time for the rorters.

  4. Aethelstan

    Tax cuts will go to investments, jobs and workers salaries … same old conservative lies … as inequality gets worse and worse … the systems broken …

    1. klewso

      “….. And not to paying down debt and profits benefitting shareholders, justifying executive salary increases.”

  5. Wayne Cusick

    Call their bluff.

    Require an investment guarantee in order to claim the lower rate. Fail to meet the obligation ends with the company being owned entirely by the Australian tax payer.

  6. klewso

    Can’t we just give them what they want again – and then when things don’t happen the way they say they would (to get their way) they can blame someone/thing else?
    Isn’t that the way “business” is supposed to work here?

  7. Blergiton

    So the libs lied to us to help their rich friends at the expense of of everyone else… in other news the sky is blue, grass is green and water is wet.

  8. AR

    As noted, in order to benefit from tax cuts the megacorps wouod have to be paying some in the first place.
    Horseshit before the horse has even looked at the cart.

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