Nick Shaxson ■ Australia may try to exempt wealthy via scaremongering
The Sydney News reports:
“The Australian government has produced draft legislation to classify the financial accounts of private wealthy families, in order to deter kidnappers.”
and there’s more, summed up by The Guardian:
“The Abbott government is pressing ahead with plans to exempt about 1,000 Australian-owned private companies from tax transparency measures after claims wealthy owners could face kidnapping threats.”
This is the same old hoary nonsense we’ve seen again and again. Back to the Sydney News:
Mark Zirnsak, of the Tax Justice Network Australia at the time described the kidnapping argument as “nonsense”.
“This is government giving in to the big end of town,” he said. “There is no reason why there should not be greater transparency around the tax paid by multinational companies, so there can be community confidence that these companies are paying their share of tax.”
“Arguments that greater transparency will lead to greater risks of kidnapping are nonsense. Australia is not some fictionalised version of Colombia.”
Spot on, Dr. Zirnsak.
In fact, this is just one of several varieties of arguments used to scare people into accepting secrecy for wealthy folk and large multinational corporations.
Last year we explored, and knocked down, a wide range of these arguments, in an article entitled The Non-Perils of Information Exchange. Enjoy.