29 – How Australia is being Swindled
Research and Recommendations – Uncovering how Australia is being swindled – Probably the greatest swindle in the world – and proving that we can be very wealthy.
THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN SWINDLE
A deliberate plan to reduce Australia’s income, calculated to destroy Australian-owned companies, forcing them into the hands of transnationals. Suddenly there is insufficient tax to maintain essential services. Treasury advises Government to sell assets to transnationals. Unemployment escalates. This swindle would never have taken place had journalists been free to report the facts – and had our politicians worked in the interests of Australians. (This disaster continues.)
SINCE 1953, “MULTINATIONALS HAVE PAID LITTLE OR NO TAX”
(ATO CANBERRA – JIM KILLALY, ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER, AUSTRALIAN TAX OFFICE – Sydney Morning Herald, 28.10.1996)
IN THE SAME INTERVIEW, MR. KILALLY STATED THAT AUSTRALIA [HAS] ONE OF THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF FOREIGN OWNERSHIP IN THE INDUSTRIALISED WORLD.
Early in our research we were aware of considerable foreign ownership and tax advantages. But this had to be proved. We asked the Government and Treasury to give us more information, but it was not forthcoming. We had established an informant in the Treasury who told us in 1986 that $80 to $100 billion had gone out of the country tax-free. This research was carried out by ABS personnel. They were not prepared to provide us with the hard copy they had but they assured us it was accurate. Austand projected these figures taking in the further sale of assets since 1986, and settled on a figure of approximately $200 billion.
NOTE: Only the ATO is privy to ownership and tax information.
read in reply….. In 1996, we had a lucky break (in fact Australia did). We now had proof, without any question, that our figure of $200 billion (which in 1993 we passed on to the Government as a matter of urgency – to no avail) and that our 90 per cent foreign ownership figure were near the mark.
Then we were provided with a printout from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (Document No. 5506.0 [1995-96]) that further confirmed that the foreigners were paying little or no tax.
This showed that total tax revenue stood at $115 billion, while it further confirmed little or no tax was paid by the foreigners. According to our calculations the country could not possibly survive on a tax income of $115 billion.
(Obviously there is a great deal of tax avoidance involved, affecting this figure.) It is interesting to note that Australians paid $105 billion (91%) and the foreigners paid only $10 billion (9%). And yet they own an estimated ninety per cent of the corporate sector, which embraces almost all of the large companies in Australia.
Further confirmation has now come to hand that the turnover of the country is in the order of 27 trillion dollars. This confirms that our $200 billion is, if anything, a low estimate, and that it is less than one per cent of our total turnover. (Australian Financial Research Market, Sydney, 1997) Also in 1996, more than 7,700 companies claimed multinational status in that year. (Murdoch Press throughout Australia, Journalist Michael McKinnon, Courier Mail, 14 January 1998)
Obviously the Treasury Department has been aware of this situation for many years, but they continued to advise the Government to sell further assets, in the main to foreigners, under the guise of privatisation, and furthering their plan to reduce Australia’s income.
They control the media and encourage more foreign investment, and therefore the position is not understood by Members of Parliament. This of course is treason, and clearly the Treasury should be investigated.
A deliberate plan to reduce Australia’s income, calculated to destroy Australian-owned companies… :
The Treasury plan to ease transnationals into Australia became clear. After World War II they encouraged transnationals into the service industries. Bear in mind they were paying little or no tax in Australia. It made it easy for them to wipe out existing services. This resulted in the demise of all major Australian-owned accountancy firms, legal organisations, brokers, PR organisations, advertising agencies and many others. All of those organisations were vital to our move into the Asian market. Treasury was to help transnationals into the country, and they did. This could not be covered up, and yet the Australian Government did nothing to protect these important industries – virtually leaving us with foreign advice in all these areas, robbing us of the opportunity of developing our country and commerce in Asia in our own right.
Realising they were on dangerous ground in bestowing naturalising status without authority, in 1953 the Treasury formalised the deal by preparing the Double Tax Agreement Bill which allowed multinationals to pay little or no tax on their profit. This Bill, introduced to Parliament by Sir Arthur Fadden, was vehemently opposed by the Hon Clyde Cameron, AO, who pointed out that this would severely damage our economy. The Bill was never publicised.
As we now know, a minimum of $200 billion profit leaves Australia each year – tax free (estimate ABS, Austand). In Japan multinationals pay 52% tax on profit (KPMG). Transnationals have been, and are being given, a free ride. To cover up the extent of the foreign invasion the Treasury has manipulated the Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, and has also stopped the publication of vital information – stopped publication of foreign ownership figures in the corporate sector from 1986-87. (The latest available figures on foreign ownership in other countries are: UK – 10.5%, USA – 10.3%, Japan – 2.1%, EU – 3.5% and Australia – 90%).
The Treasury plan was working well. They reversed the role of the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) further promoting the sale of our assets and the remaining Australian-owned companies, including utilities – and thus further depriving us of income. Corporate Australia is now 90% foreign-owned. Our Treasury informant told us back in 1992 we could be quite safe with this figure. The ATO confirmed it by their comment “We have the largest foreign ownership in the developed world”. (It should be noted that the ATO is the only organisation other than the Treasury, as we have said, privy to the degree of foreign ownership in Australia and of course the tax paid by foreigners.) Jim Cairns states that it was not far off $200 billion in his time. Clyde Cameron also confirms this figure and the Treasury has never denied it.
… forcing them into the hands of transnationals. Suddenly there is insufficient tax to maintain essential services:
The Double Tax Agreement Bill allowed foreigners to avoid paying tax on their earnings in Australia. This created unfair competition which forced Australian-owned companies out of business and a loss of income for the Australian Government. No longer could our taxes contribute to essential services and infrastructure. It also created unemployment as a result of lack of money for development. Successive Governments ran short of money and so were advised by Treasury to sell assets under their word, “privatisation”, and they did.
Since Federation the Treasury has given many advantages to foreign corporations – tax holidays, tariffs and other benefits – the Treasury code words being ‘bestowing naturalising status’. This was brought to our attention by our informant in the Treasury. He suggested that we look further into it. Also they were very sensitive about gold figures. We can find no record giving the Treasury this authority. Australians have never really benefited to any great extent from the money that has passed through our hands; but foreign corporations have. The ABS continues to publish an all-over figure of 42.6% (ABS Code No. 5306) foreign ownership – not accounting for equity. This means they are not including nominee shareholders, and therefore the figure is misleading. It is quite obviously unrealistic. Treasury is covering up the extent of the takeover. It is self-evident that their figure is far too low. You only need to look at supermarket shelves.
It must now be clear why the wealthiest country in the world (World Bank published in The Australian, 18 September 1995), is very poor. We are not receiving sufficient tax from the considerably reduced number of Australian-owned companies, and foreign companies are paying little or no tax, and avoiding massive additional tax by price transfer, royalties and such like. It should now be clear why we are in trouble. The only steady income is derived from the Australian PAYE taxpayer.
Obviously the Treasury’s advice has been treasonable. Clearly they should be confined to keeping the nation’s books which is their charter, and the responsibilities for other areas in which they have seen fit to become involved should be passed over to the appropriate Minister.
The Commonwealth Auditor-General as far as back as 1989 (The Australian, February 16, 1989) estimated that 40,000 companies may be avoiding tax by shifting profits offshore. The Government ignored him. Why?
On 26 November, 1996, knowing the position would be very much worse, we attempted to contact Mr. Pat Bartlett, the Commonwealth Auditor General in Canberra. The Department was not prepared to give us any information. Mr. Bartlett has since been transferred to another Department.
On 29 November, 1996, at Austand headquarters, we met with Mr David Lewis, Assistant Commissioner International Tax Division, Authority Competent. The object was to put before him a plan which could speed up the taxing of foreign corporations. He explained that they were having difficulty in reaching their tax targets. We presented what we believe could achieve a faster way of overcoming the problem of price transfer. We discussed the Double Tax Agreement Bill and pointed out that if this was rescinded he would have no trouble reaching his target, many times over. He was encouraged by both of these possibilities, but pointed out that it would be up to the Prime Minister and the Treasurer to make the decision to rescind the Bill. We said it was obvious that the country has no alternative. It must be done at all costs. After all, we have the assets and we are only short of money because we are being swindled. He left the meeting on an optimistic note.
Some people compare the approximate $200 billion profit leaving the country with the GDP, which is nearing $500 billion, thinking that the GDP is our total turnover. Austand believes that this is a manufactured figure. We have repeatedly asked ABS to identify their source of the information for their GDP report. It’s interesting to note that now they are reducing the frequency of publication of this report and probably intend to phase it out rather than make a bold correction which would be admitting a serious fault.
This of course has been influenced by the fact that the nation’s turnover is $27 trillion (Australian Financial Market Report – AFMA 1996). (It should be noted with concern that this figure has increased to $32.5 trillion according to the ABC News, 24 November, 1997, and later confirmed by our research. It is clear that there is major manipulation at our stock exchanges for such an alarming jump.)
Treasury advises Government to sell assets to transnationals:
Here was another opportunity for the Treasury to help foreign interests. This of course was bad advice, as the States and the Commonwealth could not afford to be without the regular and major contribution from the nation’s utilities. They suggested the word “privatisation” which would possibly make the public think that these assets were being made available to them, and in some cases they were, but in the long run they finished up in the hands of foreigners (although the recent Telstra sale was well patronised by Australians). Qantas was privatised and is now controlled by the British because of some misunderstanding in the controlling interests of the shares. Mr Jim Leslie, the past Chairman of Qantas, was very vocal about this misdemeanour.
The Kennett Government in Victoria has sold most of their utilities to foreigners. And it is clear that they are going to be in trouble shortly because no State can operate without continuing income from utilities such as water, power, gas and others. The substantial injection of money is quickly used up, leaving the Government in trouble. Kennett plans to retire… We can expect serious problems in Victoria. Money will be needed to help them out.
Throughout the world, where multi-nationals have taken over large proportions of a country’s economy, there has been a comparative rise in unemployment. This is logical, since the multi-nationals have instructions to keep staff down and profit up and they are only represented in the respective countries by branch offices. All instructions come from Head Office, wherever it may be in the world.
In Australia, one only has to compare the escalation of foreign investment with the downturn in employment. If this is graphed, it becomes abundantly clear. And yet the Treasury keeps telling politicians and the people – that transnationals create employment – backed up, of course, by the media. It is an absolute fabrication. What do they think happens if we go ahead and do our own development? The money stays in the country and so does the profit, which creates more employment. Obviously the Treasury’s advice is quite simply accepted by our naïve politicians.
This swindle would never have taken place had journalists been free to report the facts – and had our politicians worked in the interests of Australians:
None of this swindle would have been possible had the Treasury not always controlled the Australian Broadcasting Commission (they are their paymasters), and, in more recent years, had the mainly foreign-owned mainstream media not derived its income increasingly from multinational advertisers.
The media has always been controlled by foreigners. That is evident by the fact that many newspaper owners and senior editors have been knighted in the past. So the Treasury has been accustomed to involvement in media activities. The great majority of our media has fallen into foreign hands and therefore this research will have to be communicated by word of mouth or minor media facilities.
The Fairfax company, a large media operation, is to be sold. But our Government appears reluctant to ask them to make their shares available to the Australian community, although Austand contacted the Secretary of Fairfax, Ms Leroyde, who was encouraged by the idea and passed on a balance sheet to us. However, as yet, no action has taken place. If this does not take place, it will be because the Treasury Department will advise the Government otherwise, for very obvious reasons again, showing that the Government is in the hands of the Treasury. If the Government asks Fairfax to put the company on the open market, it will not necessitate any change in media rules.
The Packer organisation should be doing more than it is, but they have their own domestic problems, probably not the least of which being the fact that they have very large billings from foreign advertisers.
Anyone reading this report would realise that this travesty against the nation, orchestrated by one of its own departments, would be a worthwhile story anywhere in the world. Yet, Austand has endeavoured since 1990 to tell this story which is vital to the community. But to virtually no avail. It is clear that if it was told, Australians would be up in arms, politicians would perhaps be changing their minds and we would have been out of our problems before there is any interference from the moneylenders of the world.
This disaster continues
The ultimate goal of our Treasury is to hand the Australian economy over to the IMF, and in turn, the WTO – both backed by the World Bank. These organisations appear to be a part of the United Nations, but as they are commercial organisations with no responsibility to any government or community, and concerned only with making money, this could hardly be the case. One must ask the question what is the IMF going to do for Australia that Australia cannot do for itself, since we have the assets, and all we need is time to straighten out the disaster that we have just outlined.
If, in the unlikely event the WTO, the IMF and the MIA for that matter were concerned with the inefficiencies of Australia they would immediately point to the fact that no-one in the country is paying any worthwhile tax except the PAYE taxpayer. This situation has obviously been maintained by the Treasury Department in its advice to Government so that we sink more and more into debt and have little hope of dealing with the moneylenders. Treasury would be telling the Government not to worry, the IMF will fix it when in actual fact, the IMF won’t fix it. It would not be in their interests.
The only thing that will happen as has been pointed out by Dr. Mahathir is that our taxes will go up even further, and we will have little hope of working our way out of the problem if the IMF, the WTO and the MIA are to issue us instructions. WE WOULD BE IN THE HANDS OF COMMERCIAL MONEY MANIPULATORS. There would be a complete conflict of interests and we would be entering further problems. If these arrangements are not terminated, there will be considerable civil unrest, which Austand observes is growing throughout the country, because Australians appear to have had enough.
There is no doubt that the Asian debacle and that of the rest of the world is a result of the IMF manipulating money. Had the Asians been allowed to go ahead and maintain their own economic rhythm they would probably pull themselves out of any problems. It is inconceivable to us that suddenly all these nations who admittedly have been extending themselves could suddenly collapse without manipulation. The Australian Government is now in a very difficult situation. They must be looking sideways at the Treasury, knowing full well that they have led us into this. Mr Evans who leads the Treasury was himself a Director of the IMF and naturally he is also probably in difficulty.
In his recent interview with the London Financial Times, Mr George Soros, (one of the forward scouts) in the Asian debacle, is now warning the world of the problems that they, the IMF, have created, and is talking about forming a credit insurance corporation (to create more problems).
So much for Mr Soros, but perhaps an even more authoritative gentleman, Mr Michel Camdessus the Chairman and Managing Director of the IMF, is also very worried. In a report to the London Financial Times, he is talking about saving the Asian market now. He says he acknowledged that the IMF did not see the crisis coming: “We did not foresee last July that we would have such a formidable crisis in December.” The interviewer, Harvard University Professor Jeffrey Sachs, said: “The IMF has become an international super-agency acting in secret with no accountability to an electorate or other public. The IMF is vested with too much power. No single agency should have responsibility for economic policy in half the developing world.” Note he calls it ‘agency’. What he should have said was ‘commercial enterprise’. He finished his interview by saying; “We saw the potential for rapid deterioration after September. The IMF had enjoyed so many successes they could not see that they were susceptible to such a severe shock.”
We have a massive foreign debt, simply due to our politicians listening only to our Treasury. Now it’s obvious we Australians will have to work our way out of this problem. But fortunately it should not be very hard. We have the assets and we only have to make foreign corporations pay the same tax that they are willing to pay in other countries for example, 52% in Japan (KPMG), and we will very soon overcome this massive debt. Remember the money is there and the opportunities are limitless. Unlike Malaysia, we have the resources and we have the income to develop them, providing our Government will insist on tax from foreign corporations from here on.
We have to go to the seat of the problem which this report has outlined, and rescind the Double Tax Agreement Bill. The future of our country depends on this. We must recognise that what we are dealing with is economic warfare on a grand scale. We have been swindled by our own people. There is no longer any room to manoeuvre for our survival.
Our investigation into a tax system that would help Australia led us to an organisation called Tax Reform Limited, a public company which has concentrated on this for many years. This was a remarkable coincidence and in effect has put the lid on any critics of Austand’s “Swindle”. The system is called 2?sytax. The University of Queensland has finished a test model and from it has come some remarkable information and confirmation. If everyone was to pay this tax, including the foreign corporations, who may find it difficult to evade, it reveals that Australia’s income from tax should rise to $660 billion annually.
Since Australians are currently paying 91% of the tax in the country, it shows clearly what the foreign corporations are getting away with – courtesy of the Treasury. To establish this figure we used the Australian Financial Market Report which revealed a turnover in the country of $33 trillion. And 2 per cent of this produces the figure of $660 billion. This proves beyond any doubt that Australia can be very wealthy in two years, and also proves that our Treasury has been misleading our politicians.
The only hold-up on implementing this tax can be our Treasurer and the Prime Minister. This is the reason that Australia, the wealthiest country in the world, has been moderately poor since our existence. There is no doubt that our Treasury is guilty of treason, and must be investigated.
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO COPY AND DISTRIBUTE THIS ARTICLE. AUSTAND’S OBJECTIVE IS TO HAVE THIS INFORMATION WIDELY READ – BY ALL AUSTRALIANS – INCLUDING OUR POLITICIANS.
RESEARCH AND RECOMMENDATIONS REPORT
In 1953 Sir Arthur Fadden presented the Double Tax Agreement Bill (so-called) to Parliament. This Bill was recommended by our Treasury. At the time it was vigorously opposed by the Hon Clyde Cameron, AO (see letters enclosed; also read Hansard, page 601, 26 November 1953). This Bill is still held in tight security, and has never been publicised.
Politicians have been told by the Treasury that foreign investment is good for us because it creates jobs. There is no evidence to substantiate this. In fact, there is plenty of evidence to show that since the Second World War Australia has got into economic difficulty, and unemployment has grown in line with the entry of foreign enterprises into the country. What more proof does anyone need? Multinationals operating in Australia are branch offices which must keep their costs down. The work-intensive operations are carried out at their home bases, not in Australia.
Politicians have been told by the Treasury that if foreign corporations are made to pay tax they will leave the country. This is nonsense. The multinationals pay tax in other countries. In Japan they are currently paying 52% (KPMG). There is no doubt, when the Government does move, that foreign enterprise will go into damage control, and selected companies in turn will tell the Press that they are thinking of leaving. But they will not be able to frighten the Australian people because we are becoming better informed. More than this, the foreign corporations are sensible businessmen. They have highly profitable operations in Australia – why should they want to leave? They know full well if they vacated a market segment that Australians would have an assured market to move into.
The Treasury misled consumers and hoodwinked many politicians by promoting the ‘Australia Made’ campaign; by implying that the multinationals were Australian companies, and that by supporting their products we would create jobs. Although these products were made in Australia, the profit from them was going overseas – tax free – and they did not produce jobs. The campaign was cancelled.
Federal, and all State Governments do not have sufficient funds to do the things that they must do. In fact, because of this lack of funds some of these projects have been given to multinationals to develop – more profit leaving the country, tax free, when we should be financing and profiting from such projects. Our politicians should be concentrating on what we have just outlined – getting money back into the country – not just sitting on their hands doing nothing. Any politician not prepared to act, should surely be made to understand that he or she should be in support of Australia alone.
We would not be in this situation had the Treasury not been able to manipulate the media. Late last century the media was not owned by foreign enterprise – but there were gentlemen’s agreements. The then media owners were knighted for their services. After the Second World War the Treasury realised this loose arrangement could break down, so within a very short time Australia found that our major media had fallen into the hands of foreigners. This put the Treasury in control. As the paymaster of the ABC the Treasury was already in control. Austand records will show how we have tried to tell this story through the ABC over a period of seven years.
We have no hesitation in saying that when we set out to find out why the wealthiest country in the world was poor, we found that it was the Treasury who was the main culprit. We called on the Treasury for information. Most of it was not forthcoming for obvious reasons. A copy of the last letter we wrote to the Treasury is attached. We did everything we could to obtain their co-operation, to no avail. The Treasury thinks it has placed itself beyond the law, as do other people. The Treasury must realise that it is a Department that is there to serve Parliament and the Australian citizens as stated in our Constitution, and it is there as our accountant. It has naturally usurped the role of our MP’s by a combination of closeness to foreigners over many years, and the inferiority complex of Australian politicians. From this document, it is very clear that it has swindled this country out of the money that should have been ours since our inception. If we do not get any reaction from our politicians (who will each receive a copy of this report), we can only assume they are bowing to the Treasury, and in turn, to the multinationals. Our Constitution gives us the right to cancel any agreements.
As a huge, undeveloped, island continent we have a responsibility to protect our primary industry to cater for the rapidly growing needs of the world. All we need is money.
We are strategically placed to trade with the Asian markets, and probably the most important thing is that although we have a very small population, we have proved our ability in all forms of endeavour.
The rescinding of the Double Tax Agreement Bill will mean that we will have sufficient money to *reduce taxes, *reduce our foreign debt, *balance the books, *fund research and development, *care for our environment, * raise our standard of living, *provide better education, * create employment, and * buy back our freedom of speech (the media).
The Treasury Department will do everything possible to cover up or stop these moves, for it means less money and opportunity for the foreigners, and more for us. Our leaders have to be strong. They will need the support of every politician. This is Australia’s great opportunity to become the wealthy nation it should always have been. It will save us from become peasants in our own land, and will save us from having other people trample all over us on their way to China.
This report makes it clear that if the Government fails to take remedial action by rescinding the Double Tax Agreement Bill, it will be admitting that it is not prepared to work in the interests of the people who elected it and therefore, it is acting in a treasonable manner. We stand to lose everything Australians have worked for. If we do not act now we will go down day by day and lose our sovereignty.
The IMF and the World Bank will threaten us on behalf of the moneylenders, but we will have sufficient money to enable us to build our own defence capability and employ our own people to achieve this.
In these reports we also recommended that the Treasury be confined to being our accountant, its role by definition; and that the many other functions it is involved in should be secured by appropriate ministers. It is obvious from the nation’s performance that the Treasury – our Treasury – has favoured foreigners and given our politicians extremely bad advice. We also made recommendations to introduce a national system of economics, what we call the GATE, which, as the name suggested, is a positive control over all economic factors. To obtain this supplementary report, No. 000043, 8 January, 1997, contact FSI, Canberra – phone 062 632 893.
AUSTAND, PO BOX 173 NOOSA HEADS, QUEENSLAND 4567 AUSTRALIA PHONE/FAX 07 5447 2943 John Cumming
Austand wishes to thank all members, from coast to coast in Australia, the Hon. Clyde Cameron, AO, and the many others who have helped to provide information and moral support in the difficult task of finding out why the wealthiest country in the world is poor.
AUSTAND RESEARCH AND RECOMMENDATION REPORT HAS BEEN SENT TO ALL POLITICIANS
5 January 1998
1100090298 First Issued in 1995 February 1998