Author: Michael West

Love a flutter? Here’s a flutter!

Imagine a local council area where households lost, on average, $8,865.60 each on the pokies a year. Okay, you can stop imagining now. There is no such fantasy. That council is Murray River in the south-west of NSW.

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LendLease time to fess up

The 2018 Tax Report of LendLease is out. It confirms the construction juggernaut has effectively paid no tax in Australia yet again, although it did pay income tax, again, overseas.

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Exempt: how Defence dodges the taxman

Foreign military contractors have been awarded a staggering $73 billion in contracts, apparently tax-free, because successive governments have struck contracts directly with offshore companies, even as far afield as the Atlantic tax haven of Bermuda.

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Top 30 Defence

CompanyTotal Tenders 2015-18AEC AmountYear(s)PartyTotal Income 3 yrsTax Payable 3 yrs Bae Systems Australia Ltd$1,339,445,028$5,0002001-02Liberal$4,080,795,842- Lockheed Martin Australia Pty...

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Nine, Fairfax, media muzzling and the threat to journalism

Sack your staff and we will give you thousands of dollars in bonuses, they told the editor-in-chief of The Age. He refused. One tumultuous week, after being hammered by the Victorian premier and media rivals over a story which was true, they axed him. This is a story about the relentless decline of the mainstream media.

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How Australian media put Pravda in the shade

Hook, line and sinker. Mainstream media has swallowed the government’s latest PR stunt on tax as if it were the most unimpeachable of peer-reviewed scientific formulae. When it comes to rewriting political press releases, they’ve put Pravda in the shade.

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Adani: never underestimate a billionaire

The coal price is through the roof. Karan Adani debuted on Indian television this week saying the Carmichael coal project was close to financial close. It put the frighteners on the millions of people around the world who do not want this project to get up.

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Travel insurance: beware bogus clauses which deny your claim

After years of paying for travel insurance with Travel Insurance Direct, the time finally came to make a claim. My daughter had a skiing accident and ended up in a hospital in Japan. She was discharged on crutches. The doctor efficiently provided the requisite documents for the insurance claim. A few weeks later, the claim was duly lodged with TID.

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My Health Record: the doctor’s tale

If you’re the sort of person who’s never had a parking ticket and has a similarly unremarkable medical history then you can almost certainly ignore this. On the other hand, if you are one of the one in three of women who have had a termination of pregnancy in their lifetime, or last year you were among the one in five people who had a mental health issue, or among the 125,000 people treated for an alcohol or drug problem, you need to read this.

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Aged Care: corporate conflicts run deep

Eldercare profits are at record levels, numbers of trained nurses are down by a third, and the number of residents who need special care are up 50 per cent. The Senate Inquiry into the Financial and Tax Practices of For-Profit Aged-Care Providers kicks off tomorrow. Is the system broken? Are taxpayers getting value for money? In this opinion piece, Michael Wynne of Aged Care Crisis, an independent volunteer organisation which advocates for aged care residents, writes that cost-cutting and the pursuit of profits often come at the expense of care. As ageing demographics are exploding, the system needs an overhaul.

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Gas: importing exports will lead to more profiteering

Australia is destined to become the world’s biggest exporter of gas, writes analyst Bruce Robertson. Importing gas to solve the challenge of rampaging gas prices is ludicrous and only paves the way for the gas cartel to further profiteer at the expense of consumers. The answer is clear; a “domestic reservation policy” which earmarks Australian gas for Australia consumers. What is lacking is political will.

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Revolving Doors

Australian politicians and bureaucrats with links to fossil fuel & resource extraction industries.

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Top 40 Tax Dodgers for 2019

Who are Australia’s biggest Corporate Tax Dodgers using 4 years Australian Tax Office transparency data.

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The Kitchen Table Series

A series of articles covering Franking Credits