Dick Smith slams Turnbull for plans to protect the super rich 382



View Profile

He’s a feisty entrepreneur and has stuck up for hard-working Aussies for years, and today is no exception. Dick Smith has taken Malcolm Turnbull to task in a new interview, and wants him to stop his planned tax protection of the super rich.

Dick Smith told Fairfax that the PM will be “ratting on typical Australians who pay their tax” if the Coalition goes through with plans to shield large private companies from having to disclose how much tax they pay.

Once a multi-millionaire himself (and possibly still is), Mr Smith is an unlikely saviour for those who aren’t wealthy business owners.

The government has caved in to business owners who don’t want to disclose their tax affairs in case it puts them at risk of being kidnapped or held ransom.

Fairfax Media found in June that the Abbott government had not requested or received any advice from security agencies to verify any threat before agreeing to repeal disclosure laws.

“I’m really disappointed in the Coalition on this, I think it is very important they don’t change this and I am asking the Prime Minister not to change this. Otherwise he will be ratting on typical Australians who pay their tax,” he said.

Mr Smith believes the claim the super rich will be targets for kidnapping is a load of hogwash: “They do it themselves. They buy waterfront properties, big boats, and big planes. They show their wealth off,” he said.

“Everyone knows [property mogul] Harry Triguboff is worth $10 billion. A newspaper once said he had $6 billion and he rang up to put them straight”.

The 71-year-old even went so far as to say he finds billionaires disgusting and believes they need to show and pay their fair share of tax.

“If you have turnover of $100 million you should be proud to show you are paying your tax – and most are. The ones opposing this, I’m absolutely convinced, are basically cheating the system, avoiding their taxes and we should not let them get away with it”.

Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer told Fairfax the Australian Taxation Office has “comprehensive powers” to make sure companies pay their tax.

“The bill is currently before the Senate and the government will continue discussions with the crossbenchers to secure the passage of the bill,” she said.

An estimated 700-1000 companies with turnover in excess of $100 million are due to disclose their tax affairs this year, including James Packer’s Consolidated Press Holdings, Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting, Lindsay Fox’s Linfox and Russ Withers’ 7-Eleven convenience stores.

Just last month, the Australian Tax Office revealed that one in five privately-owned companies with revenue exceeded $100 million paid no tax last year reports Business Insider.


Tell us, do you agree with Dick? Should wealthy business owners be upfront and honest, or do they have a right to be secretive?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. He’s a self confessed admirer of our dear leader John key so just look over the ditch to find how else you be Sh..t on …..p/s any women with pony tails be warned

  2. Of course I agree with him – I dont particularly want to know how much tax they pay, I just want to know they pay tax and will be held to account if they dont.

    4 REPLY
    • We all pay our taxes why should large companies/ wealthy people not have to pay tax, get rid of the loopholes in the system!!!

    • They will never get rid of the loopholes as the govt. has put them in place to look after themselves!!!

    • Need the “tax haven” countries/nations to come on board first & disclose those companies channeling their pre-tax deposits; but, i don’t hold my breath for this to happen anyday soon! What this gov’t can do is to look into “family trusts” that are in place solely for tax minimizations!!

  3. Of course I agree with what Dick Smith says. But we are but pawns in this pathetic world we live in that is controlled by the RICH. The ordinary working class have no chance. We are their little working ants. Nothing will ever change. Money talks!! Corruption rules. We may not be rich but we are not stupid! I have no issues with people having as lots of money. I just have no tolerance of controlling , corrupt people.

  4. That is ok this Liberal Government will balance the books and slap the poor some more to make up for the lack of transparency

    4 REPLY
  5. Huge companies are not cheating the system. The system is skewed in their favour to allow them to not pay tax. Malc does not want us to know that he is just another Tony – with political brains.

    5 REPLY
    • If they pay their taxes correctly it is nobody business how much they earn but if they don’t they should be bought to the attention of the public. Problem is rich people have rich accountants.

    • Fay Haynes I thought the parties had to declair where their money comes from. I wouldn’t doubt that some money is handed under the table so to speak.

    • An economist said recently if the big 10 companies all paid the tax they should the countrys’ deficit would be wiped out in about 18 months.

  6. They don’t want to disclose their tax details as they are probably not paying any. What a load of hogwash they are putting forward to try to prevent it. I’m sure your average kidnapper, not a common crime in Australia anyway, will do a bit of homework and figure out you head to the richer suburbs to find your target.

    2 REPLY
    • Well will you disclose your tax position in the local paper? If not then it would be assumed you have something to hide. Don’t leap to conspiracy theory.

    • I don’t think the individuals should have to list their own private tax affairs, but I do think their company should. It is the company structure, often that is used to artificially shift and reduce income for tax purposes.

  7. Does this mean that the tax records of everyone in this country are public record? If this is the case then I think everyone should be treated the same. If they want to make the tax records of big companies inaccessible to the public than they should make all tax records secret. I think everyone deserves their privacy. I certainly do not want everyone to know how much tax I pay. I can’t believe that our tax records are not confidential. I find this worrying.

  8. If big companies pay no tax , that is the taxation departments fault . Why are they not chasing them .

    11 REPLY
    • It’s the LAWS the Tax Office has to work within and enforce. The ATO doesn’t simply ignore the very well-off and concentrate on those with more modest incomes.
      The ATO does audit companies, rich individuals, etc., but they have access to lawyers and accountants who exploit every loophole they can find to minimise,, even negate, any tax which could be payable.

    • The government has to legislate to close the loopholes the rich are using. That’s the failure.
      Not the ATO – the Federal Government. And this Federal government hasn’t even tried to close these loopholes. They have actually moved to make the loopholes less transparent – so we can’t see who is stealing from us. Cop that voters! You insignificant worms.

    • The legislation is the problem and the ATO continually has had its funding cut so it makes it very hard for it to do anything with next to no staff. Audits are time consuming, often complex and heavy of staff resources, and sometimes expensive if it comes to court battles.

    • Well Carolyn Brown who legislates the rules for the taxation department? The Government of course. Do you really think the Libs would tax their doners fairly??

    • The ATO is too busy trying to stem the tide. Big businesses employ people full-time to help them find loopholes in the taxation system. The ATO can only work retrospectively, and if the Government won’t support the efforts, it makes the job even harder.

    • Yes Jan . It’s Labour Party that continuously play fraudulent games , do you really believe otherwise with all their behaviour that has come to light in recent years ? Please !! Even recent events such as billy bob shortens memory loss at the RC, Gillard and her involvement . Where there is smoke there is emerald fire , no doubt .
      And the ATO has greater powers than you are obviously aware of .suggesting loopholes is a liberal gain is fantasy , especially since labor were in for 4 years , and exactly WHAT loop holes DID THEY PLUG UP ?? And let’s not forget their pay rise while we are at it .

    • The LNP government has stripped 6000 staff from the ATO since they came to power. How much capacity to follow up on organised tax avoidance do you think they have now?

    • Carolyn Brown Carolyn Brown read my comments on the lies and manipulation by previous LNP premier Newman……Linberals do not know the meaning of honesty and integrity……they are only about greed and power!!!!!

  9. ‘Just last month, the Australian Tax Sharing the power of Jesusfice revealed that one in five privately-owned companies with revenue exceeding $100 million paid no tax last year reports Business Insider.’ If this is true, then I think that Prime Minister Turnbull should not feel any obligation to protect them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *