Michael Sukkar MP

Federal Member for Deakin
Assistant Treasurer
Minister for Housing
Minister for Homelessness, Social and Community Housing
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LABOR GOES AFTER SMALL BUSINESSES WITH NEW HIT LIST



THE HON MICHAEL SUKKAR MP
Assistant Treasurer
Minister for Housing
Minister for Homelessness, Social and Community Housing

MEDIA RELEASE

Tuesday 19 October 2021

LABOR GOES AFTER SMALL BUSINESSES WITH NEW HIT LIST

JobKeeper was a spectacular success that supported 4 million Australians and around 1 million small businesses during the height of the pandemic.  It has also allowed the Australian economy to bounce back strongly from the greatest economic shock since the Great Depression.

However, in an unprecedented move, Labor voted in the Senate today in support of retrospectively making public the private and confidential tax information of thousands of Australian small businesses.

Just as small businesses are looking to get back on their feet, Labor wants to harass the engine room of our economy and shame them for receiving help from the government during a once in a century pandemic.

This is wrong and will hurt the recovery and put jobs at risk, not to mention undermine confidence in our entire tax system and set a precedent that makes every taxpayer question whether their private information will be disclosed.

As the Tax Commissioner has said: “Requiring disclosure of protected taxpayer information to the Parliament will harm the public interest by undermining public confidence in the Commissioner’s ability to keep taxation information confidential and the administration of the tax system beyond the administration of the Coronavirus Economic response package more generally. That is, it has the clear capacity to discourage the open and full disclosure of information to the Commissioner which is necessary for the effective administration of the tax system.”

As COSBOA has said: “…if sensitive business information provided to the ATO can be made public by the Australian Parliament, for what appears to be pure political gain, then all businesses would rightly have concerns about their future dealings with the ATO”.

As AIG has said: “to publish the names of some businesses that were eligible for JobKeeper but who in retrospect are thought to be undeserving are misguided, liable to be misused and would set dangerous precedents…They are very deliberately making mischief.”

As ACCI has said: “… risks setting a dangerous precedent that undermines the privacy of all taxpayers in relation to their confidential information.”

As the Australian Hotels Association has said: “If the Senate goes down this path, it will be knowingly trampling on the privacy of thousands of people who have done nothing wrong.”

What has Labor got against small business? We know they remain committed to higher taxes on family businesses, now they want to claw back JobKeeper.

Labor has proved yet again it is no friend of small business and can’t be trusted to govern.

The Morrison Government has stood by small businesses throughout the crisis and will continue to do so as Labor goes after their private and confidential tax information.