Under the Federal Government’s tax cuts for big business, the mining company Rio Tinto over 10 years would gain an extra $7.67 billion. That is revenue lost to the budget and to the taxpayer over the first decade of the policy in lost revenue over the first decade of the policy1. That is just one company, and that company recorded a full year dividend of $5.2 billion with an additional $1 billion in share buy-back. So, should the Government pass its tax cuts, Rio Tinto will be able to add another $700 million or so to its bottom line each year. Most of that will probably go to share buy-backs, another way of giving cash to shareholders. Indeed, a secret survey by the Business Council of Australia (BCA) indicates that only 17% of Australian CEOs would use tax cuts to boost wages or increase employment. The remainder would use the extra funds to return money to shareholders or increase capital expenditure. This is diametrically opposed to the public proclamations of the BCA. In an open letter signed by the CEOs of some of Australia’s largest employers, they stated that: “If the Senate passes this important legislation we, as some of the nation’s largest employers, commit to invest more in Australia which will lead to employing more Australians and therefore stronger wage growth as the tax cut takes effect”2. Hardly worth the paper it was written on.
That $700 million per annum to be handed to Rio Tinto and foregone by the taxpayer, would otherwise employ 8450 nurses1, that is 12 extra nurses in each of the 701 public hospitals in Australia3. That $700 million would otherwise employ 7,610 secondary school teachers1, that is seven extra teachers for every one of the 1,025 government secondary schools in Australia4. That $700 million would otherwise employ 6,310 police officers, an extra 15% on top of the 42,000 current police officers5. These 6,310 police officers may be needed because the coming Federal Integrity Commission will need a large number of investigators because there will be much to investigate6, after this monumentally corrupt government is turfed out.