Posted July 10, 2018 06:53:55 The Australian Government has released a draft of its $1.6bn tax reform package, and a group of major tech companies including Apple, Microsoft and Google have all written a letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison in support of the plan.
The Government is also expected to announce the details of its first major tax reform plan, which will bring in the new tax on high-cost multinationals.
The draft proposal is expected to be tabled on Tuesday, and will come as a shock to many, especially those who expect the Government to use the $1 billion to pay for more infrastructure.
Apple, for instance, is worried about the plan and its potential impact on the Australian economy, which could lead to more job losses and higher unemployment.
“This is an opportunity for the Government and the private sector to work together to address the underlying challenges that Australian companies face today, and to bring more jobs and growth back to the country,” Apple said in the letter.
Microsoft and Microsoft’s letter said the plan was “not in the best interests of the Australian community”, and suggested the Government should focus on “the fundamental need for Australian businesses to compete and grow”.
Apple said it was concerned about the plans because of its “tens of thousands of Australian jobs” that have been lost due to the shift to a high-tax system.
“Our business model relies on creating jobs in the US and overseas, and we have a strong interest in ensuring that we have the technology, manufacturing and sales support to support our businesses in Australia,” the company said in a statement.
“We support the Australian government’s effort to bring down the corporate tax rate and will continue to work closely with the Government as they develop this proposal.”
Microsoft and Apple have both already raised concerns about the proposals.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said on Monday that it was “extremely disappointing” that the Government was proposing to reduce corporate tax to 28 per cent.
“That’s not the level of competitiveness we want to achieve for Australian companies,” Mr Nadellasaid.
“I’m not sure we should be making any commitments at this point to increase the corporate rate,” Microsoft said in response to a question from ABC’s 7:30.
“And it doesn’t even work in Australia.
We know that our tax rates in the UK are much lower.”
Microsoft’s UK boss, Bill Gates, said the company’s tax rate was “very low” compared to other major tech firms.
Apple is expected also to oppose the tax proposal, and have its own letter to the Prime Minister.
“Apple is concerned about this proposal because it is likely to lead to fewer opportunities for Australian tech companies to grow,” the letter from the company says.
“It is also likely to cause substantial harm to Australian jobs.”
Google has also voiced its concerns about Apple’s proposal.
“Google’s long-term business model depends on the ability to compete across the world in highly competitive, high-tech industries,” the Google letter said.
“The proposed changes to our tax regime would have an adverse impact on Google’s ability to provide services in the future.”
“We urge you to take steps to ensure that Australia’s high-skilled workers are supported and supported in their careers, and that Australians are able to participate in the global economy and innovate in all fields,” the letters from Google and Microsoft say.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai has previously said the tax plan was not in the interests of Australians, saying that the company was “going to be more efficient and competitive” in the long term.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has also said the proposal is not in Australia’s best interests.
“My view is that we need to be very careful that we don’t increase the cost of doing business and that we can’t raise prices to make Australians more comfortable,” he said on Wednesday.
“Because we’re in a competitive environment, we need our employees to work, so that we’re able to compete with other countries.”