Author: Michael West

Statin Wars: secrecy and the world’s most lucrative drugs

Science journalist Maryanne Demasi investigates statins, one of the world’s most profitable drugs. We know statins work. What we don’t know is information about their side effects. Many leading doctors now believe statins are being overprescribed but the raw data on statins remains concealed by the pharmaceutical companies who make them, businesses which are heavily subsidised by taxpayers around the world. This two-part series is the result of an important peer-reviewed article by Demasi. It is NOT medical advice. PART 1 The Statin Wars Statins are the most widely prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs in the world. Since their introduction in the...

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EnergyAustralia lobbies for government leg-up while cheating on tax

African gangs in Melbourne may be attracting the headlines but a greater threat to the Australian way of life lies at the hands of Caribbean tax haven gangs and gangs of accountants in Sydney and Melbourne. EnergyAustralia, which has paid zero tax on almost $24 billion in revenue over three years, and is owned by a company in the secretive tax haven of the British Virgin Islands, is in the throes of a media blitz to get customers to switch to “save” on their energy bills. It is worth noting that all this advertising expense goes straight on customers’...

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Big Four off scot-free in Paradise Papers “data breach”

Still barely a squeak from the Big Four accounting firms about the world’s biggest tax leak, the 13.4 million documents from the Paradise Papers. In a perusal of the websites of Deloitte, KPMG, EY and PwC – and their advocacy group Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand – we only managed to find one mention of Paradise Papers. In its annual rundown of the events of 2017, Deloitte notes “November: Paradise Papers data breach publicised”. The firm awarded Paradise Papers with its gong for “Tax word/phrase of the year: New to the lexicon after only two months”. Paradise Papers: media ignores the real tax culprits The failure of the mainstream media to pursue the architects of global tax avoidance is staggering. Yet again, some courageous and high-minded professional has risked his or her life and almost certainly blown up their career to bring this data into the public domain. The result, sadly, has been a spot of collateral damage for a few celebrities and the finger of blame pointed squarely at Caribbean law firm Appleby while the real culprits have got off scot-free yet again. LuxLeaks, Panama Papers, Paradise Papers, what’s next? Ethic Cleansing & Paradise Papers : Big Four whitewash is...

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Joe Hockey and the Reserve Bank: no such thing as a free $8.8 billion

Remember that $8.8 billion which former treasurer Joe Hockey gifted the Reserve Bank, that $8.8 which the Reserve Bank neither needed nor asked for? It has paid handsome dividends. A quick run though the RBA financial statements shows the dividends back to government have been rising sharply and there appear to be some other lucky beneficiaries, investment banks which are now picking up trading fees. You will find the $8.8 billion recorded as a grant in the 2014 financial statements. Before that – in 2012 and 2013 when Labor was in office – there were no “fees received for...

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DORC rort under fire means relief for energy prices

Its critics say the Turnbull government’s National Energy Guarantee (NEG) is as effective a program for reform as a wet lettuce but state governments and the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission are rethinking the way energy assets ought to be valued, and the upshot may be lower energy prices. For competition tsar Rod Sims, it has been a source of irritation for some time that most of Australia’s gas pipelines are unregulated and they charge users a heavy toll for gas transmission. The pining from Sims however appears to be bearing fruit, coupled with pressure from businesses pushed to...

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The countdown is on.

Who will be ranked as Australia’s biggest tax dodger?


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New Michael West Podcast

Created by PodcastOne, this 3 part series looks into how Australia has gone from one of the cheapest countries in the world for energy to one of the most expensive, and reveals just what has happened with our gas and electricity supply and why we are on the verge of an energy crisis.

Listen to THE ENERGY TRUTH on the PodcastOne website