News Pulse for March 29, 2017

A daily download of SME, startup, fintech and tax news from around Australia.

Multinational tax net tightens

The Turnbull government’s “Google tax” has been passed into law, arming the Australian Taxation Office with some of the world’s strongest powers to fight multinationals as it moves to recoup $2 billion in revenue from some of the nation’s biggest companies including Apple, BHP Billiton, Chevron and Crown.

But as more countries hunt for a greater share of revenue from multinationals, concerns remain that disagreements between global agencies about which nation is entitled to tax profits could spark revenue wars.

Government legislation in doubt

With Malcolm TurnbullThe Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, Federal Member for Wentworth Prime Minister from 15.9.15’s plans to slash corporate tax rates in peril, King is leading his team to Canberra on Wednesday to show Bill ShortenHon Bill Shorten MP,  Federal Member for Maribyrnong Leader of the Opposition from 13.10.13’s troops the error of their ways.

“I’m seeking to understand the reasons why the Labor Party no longer supports company tax reductions, having previously strongly supported it. I’m concerned that this change of heart is driven by populism rather than good policy,” said King in a press release that will certainly help the Labor faithful see the light.

Penalty rates: who is responsible?

Retailers are asking for the minimum wage to be increased by less than the inflation rate a month after winning a reduction in Sunday penalty rates.

The Australian Retailers Association has recommended a 1.2 per cent increase in the national minimum wage in response to a fragile labour market. This would translate to an increase of $8.10 per week, bringing it to $680.80.

Unfair contract terms under scrutiny

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has a number of in-depth investigations underway across a range of industries following the introduction of the new business-to-business (B2B) unfair contract terms laws in November 2016.

Delivering the keynote address at a UNSW forum on recent developments in competition and consumer law, ACCCAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission The ACCC is Australia's competition regulator and national consumer law champion. Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper said the regulator would be taking enforcement action in relation to a number of companies over B2B unfair contract terms this year.

Get good advice, level with us

The half truths and misleading information told by the Coalition and ALPAustralian Labor Party www.alp.org.au politicians who caused the power crisis and threaten Melbourne and Sydney gas shortages is still being duplicated over a wide range of areas. It seems to have become a disease that infects state and federal politicians and is set to really damage business and consumer confidence…

Here are just a few of cases where we are not being told the whole truth.

Outsourcing innovation to small business helps big business

Australia continues to prove it’s an attractive place to do business, with 26 years of consecutive economic growth and a nation able to produce businesses and people who can adapt and pivot to change.

We can attribute much of the success of Australia’s modern economy to the strength of the small business sector. Small businesses employ almost half the Australian workforce and account for 57 per cent of Australia’s gross domestic product.

B2B the way forward for many small businesses of tomorrow

The public perception of the start-up companies beavering away at becoming the businesses of tomorrow is that they are designing and testing and perfecting the better mousetrap that will deliver them a potentially global consumer success – when they are probably more likely to be working on their place in the business ecosystem.

In many cases, this means collaboration with larger organisations that have the advantages of size, scale and customer base.

Code of conduct was written for other banks, not customers

The banks have conceded their industry code of conduct is a “a long and detailed document [that] customers find difficult to relate to”.

They have pledged to substantially re-write it to boost consumer protections while also pushing back on some of the recommendations made in a recent independent review of the code, including the need for new restrictions on cross-selling products.

Hanson, no conviction politician

Pauline Hanson likes to cast herself as a conviction politician. “I don’t change my tune, whichever way the polls are going,” she said on February 5. “If you look at what I said 20 years ago, it’s exactly what I’m saying today. I’m a type of person who can make a decision.” Really? What the One Nation leader is saying now is not what she was saying even a few weeks ago.

Tips, comments or suggestions? Let me know in the comments, send me an email or tweet me @simeonduncan.

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