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Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

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Ireland announces a special tax rate for 'Knowledge Development Box'

Following the announcement regarding the new policy framework set out in the ‘Road Map for Ireland’s Tax Competitiveness’ as published in October 2014, the Irish government declared on 13 October 2015 that from next year it would cut the corporate tax rate to 6.25 per cent from the existing 12.5 per cent for revenues tied with companies’ patents and certain intellectual property (IP).  Read more...

Who exempts what from consumption taxes?

At the time the Goods and Services Tax was introduced, health, education and financial services and some food items (mainly fresh food), amongst other areas, were exempted from its reach.  Recently, several Coalition members and senators, as well as some economists, have called for the GST to be extended to some of these areas.   Read more...

Senate inquiry into corporate tax avoidance

In October, the Senate referred an inquiry into corporate tax avoidance (the Inquiry) to the Senate Economic References Committee (the Committee).  The Inquiry will examine tax avoidance and aggressive minimisation by multinational companies operating in Australia.  Public submissions close on 2 February 2015, and the Committee will report in June 2015. Read more...

OECD Development Co-operation Peer Review: Australia 2013

On 6 May 2013, the Development Co-operation Directorate (DCD) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released the OECD Development Co-operation Peer Review: Australia 2013. The Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the OECD carries out peer reviews of member countries’ aid programs approximately every four years. Australia’s last review was undertaken in 2008.The current Review notes that since the 2008 Review, ‘AusAID has gone through the biggest change in its history’ which represents an ‘unprecedented reform of Australian development co-operation’ (p.13). The Review points out that 80 per cent (16 recommendations) of the 2008 Review has been implemented a... Read more...

Australia’s efforts against foreign bribery – an update

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released its latest assessment of Australia’s implementation of the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (Anti-Bribery Convention) in October 2012. Outlined below is an overview of the positive and negative findings and their implications for the Australian Government.The Anti-Bribery Convention was adopted in 1997 to address the widespread phenomenon of bribery in international business transactions. It entered into force on 15 February 1999 and has been ratified by all 34 member countries of the OECD (of which Australia is one) and five other countries. The ... Read more...

Australia’s performance against Anti-corruption treaty reviewed

Australia signed the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in December 2003 and ratified it two years later.  A summary of the findings of the first review of Australia’s implementation of the UNCAC was released on 18 June 2012.  The review of chapters III and IV of the UNCAC coincided with the Australian Government’s development of the country’s first National Anti-Corruption Plan.  While the findings were largely positive, the reviewers also identified several challenges and areas of improvement.The UNCAC, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in October 2003 and entered into force in December 2005, is the most comprehensive international treaty on corrupt... Read more...

Disability employment in Australia and the OECD

Accounting firm, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has released a report outlining a series of principles that it believes should guide the implementation of the national disability insurance scheme proposed by the Productivity Commission. In the report, PwC cites statistics which indicate that Australia ranks 21st out of 29 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries in employment rates for people with a disability. It also highlights the fact that Australia is ranked 27th out of 27 OECD countries when it comes to relative poverty risk for people with a disability.The first of these figures begs the question: Why does Australia perform so poorly relative to other OECD... Read more...

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