Showing posts with label Senate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Senate. Show all posts

Inquiry Into Tax Dodge by Tech Giants is a Lie Fest

It amazes me how people can blatantly lie, and continue to lie, when everyone else knows the truth. There is a Senate inquiry in Australia into big companies, mainly tech giants, avoiding tax that is owed to this country. Mr King, the head of Apple Australia strongly denies that the company is reducing its tax payments through questionable methods. Fair "crack in the door mate" we all know what is really going on. Is Ireland involved in these methods?
Tony King head of Apple Australia
Apple and Google are the major companies targeted by the inquiry. Britain is planning to regulate to make them pay what is due there. Other countries are watching to see what Britain does. Of course, the easiest way to get money out of the tech megaliths is to introduce a revenue tax irrespective of profit, because it is profit that is being skimmed off subsidiaries by head office for non-existent services.

The Australian Tax Office wants its pound of flesh from internationals as it does from locals. Last year Apple paid $80m in tax from profit of $250m. Revenue was $6 billion. While this is a tax rate of 32 per cent, the profit margin of only 4.17 percent is highly suspect. Apple charges a fixed rate of 30 per cent on all app revenue in its App Store. Furthermore, it has huge income from sales of its own merchandise for which the profit margin is not widely known.

Mr King said that Apple would willingly enter into an agreement with the ATO. By saying this he clearly believes that he can choose not to follow Australian law. Apple's tax rate of 32 per cent seems reasonable at first glance when compared to Google Australia's rate of 15 percent. However, Google's profit margin of 13 per cent is more realistic.

Lastly, Mr King of Apple said that Australian app developers had made a fortune out of new apps.  He fails to mention the gargantuan amount made by Apple from these.  The guaranteed 30 per cent on all downloads is a money grab by any definition considering Apple has set this rate itself and it can easily raise it at any time, even for apps already available.
Technology by Ty Buchanan
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            Australian Blog   Adventure Australia

Government Beliefs Have No Foundation

The present federal government has a policy of the market will solve all problems: we will get rid of regulatory bodies and legislation. This would be good if it was right but it isn't. Private industry will not build roads, for example.

Getting rid of regulation on investment advisers was a mistake. Thankfully it was resurrected and defeated in the Senate. If it had stayed, advisers would have pulled the wool over the eyes of the poor in society - those who do not know how the system operates.

The government is trying to abolish the body that reviews charity organizations. Senate opposition will put an end to this. Why is the government wasting its time and taxpayers money throwing legislation at the Senate that clearly will not get through?

There is no debt problem in Australia contrary to the wild obsession put forward by the Coalition. Australia has only 17 per cent debt. This compares to over 90 per cent for most other Western countries.

The economy has had a dramatic fall in growth. This could be seen as due to spending cuts. However, there have been only small spending cuts. The national debt is higher now than it was under Labor.  Blaming Labor would seem to be right, but Independents, Greens and the Palmer United Party are blocking radical changes.

Abolishing the carbon tax is seem as a win for the Coalition. This is only for the short term. There is no doubt it will be back when we have a labor government after the next election. Just the threat of cuts is offending voters right across the board. Putting it bluntly, Tony Abbott looks like a fool stumbling in the dark. Reason and common sense are not part of his arsenal. National debt is a furphy: people don't care about debt as long as they can earn an income.
Politics by Ty Buchanan
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     Australian Blog                         

The NBN Will Remain an Issue into the Next Election

The NBN will live on. Despite the Coalition winning government with the ex-National Party Independents support, the National Broadband Network will remain with Labor at the next election. Indeed, they will win and put Australia on a path to a better future. There is no way the Australian people will accept "the private sector will provide" because it certainly won't. Telstra is only interested in market share. Hope lies in Telstra investing heavily and freezing out small telcos. This is its long term plan. Faster broadband is needed now, however, for medicine, education and scientific endeavours.

As a voter said in Bob Katter's electorate, God help Bob if he supports a Labor government. He will try to keep broadband. Tony Abbot will refuse and Bob will give in to his own deep conservative emotions. Like the Green who has already said he will support Labor. Eighty percent of Green voters used to vote for Labor. Even Bob Brown the Green leader openly prefers Labor over the Coalition. He has already warned that not much will get through the upper house.

The Coalition has not faced a hostile Senate before. It will be tough going for Tony Abbot. He is not a man for compromise. He has his own opinions and he wants his own way. The maternity leave issue is a case in point. Hardly any Coalition members want this. They don't want a heavier burden placed on business. The mining tax is not over yet either. It will be almost impossible for any government to balance the books without savage cuts much like the cuts in the UK. Like the problem government in the UK which will see the Liberal Democrats blamed for "sleeping with the enemy" and slaughtered at the next election, so the Independents here who go in with either party will face termination at the future poll in Australia.
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Australia's Voting System is Quite Straightforward

Voting informal just because you don't understand the Australian voting system is not a smart thing to do. Admittedly, the way Australians elect representatives is a bit odd, but other countries have idiosyncratic election methods as well. The US collegial way is considered far too complicated to explain to an outsider. Though quite simple, the British process of first past the post tends to favor a choice between two parties. It was unusual for the third party, the Liberal Democrats, to win so many seats as in the last election.

The Australian voting system is not that complicated. In Britain votes going to a third party are lost, totally. Just remember that in Australia a vote to a weaker party is counted as a full vote to the first or second party leading in the count. It doesn't matter where you put the major parties in your numbered list on the voting paper. What does count is which of these parties appears higher in your list. The party highest, i.e., closer to number "1", in your list is allocated your vote. That about sums it up.

Voting for the Senate is ordinary proportional voting with an Australian twist. The number of Senate seats is six for each state and two per territory. For a double dissolution 12 seats in each state are up for grabs plus two for each territory. If candidates were elected by voters selecting only one prospective Senator the result would be much the same as Australia's proportional system.

The voting paper has a horizontal line drawn across it. To vote below the line, number all of the squares next to candidates, "1", "2", "3"... and so on until you reach the total number of candidates - choosing the most favored candidate as "1" then allocating accordingly. Voting above the line is known as a "ticket vote". If you put number "1" in one of the squares in the top section your votes are "preallocated" by the party you chose as "1", as if you filled out all squares below the line.

All the number "1" votes are counted by party. In each state, if a party has 14.3% of number "1" votes (a quota) the party has a Senator elected. Two Senators get up when more than 28.6% "formal" votes are gained. A ridiculous complex mathematical formula is used to determine the remaining one or two of the six Senate seats not achieving a quota in each state. Basically, selection is worked out based on highest preference by the numbers on the ballot papers.

Considering ticket votes comprised nearly 95% of all Senate votes in the 2001 election it is time for a review of the system. As noted, the way selection is carried out is ridiculous.

As long as you remember the forgoing explanation voting is quite straightforward.
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