Time for more Collusion on Tax?

I don’t mind paying tax

That might sound odd to many, but living in Australia I like the benefits paying my tax brings.

I have public health that works – when my son had a nasty attack of croup when young we had paramedics arrive within minutes and the hospital was exceptional in their care and attention.

All courtesy of Tax.

In a society that historically looks after the less fortunate as one would look after your mate, tax is the thing that allows that to happen.

Think of it as distributed “mateship” 😀

We also benefit from a public school system that on the whole does an excellent job of education – my son attends the local public High School and it is doing a fine job of making him learn, and more importantly think.

Businesses and Tax

Businesses and Global companies currently seem to be doing a great job of avoiding paying any tax at all – and complaining bitterly if they do.

Most of them claim they want “political stability” an “educated workforce” with the “skills to grow their business” as key to where they will locate their operations.

Hmmmm, know what provides those things they want? Generally Governments via funding supported by taxable income. I see very few companies running universities training the graduates they require for engineering, commerce, PR or HR.

So to me it seems like businesses appear that they do not want to contribute to help provide the things they say that they want? I have a sneaking suspicion that you would hear Facebook, Apple, Google and similar screaming very loudly if they suddenly couldn’t find any programmers because none were trained as the Universities folded due to lack of funding.

Why is it happening

It’s my very simplistic view it’s because currently global laws are different country to country and smart lawyers and accountants have found ways to let the companies “shop around” to find the lowest (or no) tax approach.

Secondly in some countries they literally buy the government – looking at you America at present and Australia’s policical donations policies.

It appears that the big finance advisors are doing a great job of informing many how to minimise tax with “Double Irish Dutch sandwich” double speak and similar – it almost looks like their could be collusion… surely not.

Is More Collusion the answer?

I was having a random thought while walking the dog, as you do, and wondered what if all Governments took a leaf out of the “Companies Book” and globally colluded on minimum Tax Rates and approaches.

Something simple like 25% of all profits made by any entity in any country is paid in tax in that country – doesn’t matter if it is an arm of a multinational, you pay locally on what you make locally.

And a few riders on inter business entity loan interest rates while we are at it along the lines of loans to be sourced from local finance institutions if possible in the first instance. If not, then there better be a VERY good reason for interest rates to be higher than best current global commercial rates…..

Not suggesting for a moment that anyone drop tax rates if they are higher (go Norway) but that Governments collude and put a brick under the minimum rate globally so we (and companies) get the services, stability, skills and societies we say we want.

If it’s the same minimum everywhere it would have the potential to stop the shopping around and many of the constant complaints of “it’s lower in Singapore, Ireland, Holland, Panama, etc”

Nothing comes for free, and tax is what we currently choose to fund those things that keep society functioning, so how about more companies actually contribute to help support those things they say they want delivered.

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Higher education needs to be accessible to all

My submission to the Senate….

Dear Senators,

I was the first of my family and the only one of 3 kids in the house to go to university; it was several years back now when it was almost free for anyone to maximise their academic potential.

I have an Electrical engineering degree and I hope that as a result I’ve made a positive difference to our society that more than repays the investment that it made in my education.

If fees were at the levels they are today I have a strong suspicion that I would not have bothered with university and potentially become a tradesman like my father; if fees rise to the level they are anticipated to then I definitely would not have been attending.

My view is that investing in education from schools through to tertiary is an investment in the country’s future that more than repays itself over time.

I think the reasons that countries like Germany continue to perform well is that they understand that a society that easily allows everyone to achieve what they are capable of helps all of society.

Recently Germany started down the path of fees and are in the process of rescinding that decision for the most part http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/features/germanys-great-tuition-fees-u-turn/2011168.article.

I believe that the proposed fee changes to higher education will stop many people gaining the knowledge and skills that could assist our society in adapting to a changing planet and changing global world.

Please ensure these changes do not occur and if possible look at ways of making education more accessible for all that wish to pursue it.

Brian Hobby