Posted on 25 Jun 2018

    Here Are The Politicians Who Stand To Gain From The Company Tax Cut

    The prime minister is far from the only one.

    Chris Pavlich / AAPIMAGE

    At least 55 federal politicians stand to gain from the passage of tax cuts via shares they hold in Australian-listed companies.

    The government is hoping that it can secure the votes of the Senate crossbench this week to pass legislation that would cut the company tax rate for businesses with an annual revenue over $50 million. Labor and the Greens are opposed to the legislation, so the government needs 8 crossbench votes to win it.

    Several crossbench senators including One Nation's two senators, senator Derryn Hinch, Centre Alliance Party's two senators, and independent senator Tim Storer are all currently against the legislation.

    Labor has launched a new attack ad against prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, pointing out that as a shareholder in lots of large Australian companies, he stands to personally gain from company tax cuts. He is far from the only politician who would.

    Labor

    BuzzFeed News examined data taken from Burn the Register, a crowd-sourced searchable register of members' interests taken from the Parliament House website, and 55 politicians or their spouses (54 MPs and senators, and former MP and Labor candidate Josh Wilson) have invested in the top nine companies in 2017 as judged by revenue.

    This includes 29 Coalition MPs and senators; 20 Labor MPs, senators, and candidates; and six independent MPs and senators.

    Those politicians are:

    • Tony Abbott, Liberal MP: NAB
    • John Alexander, Liberal MP: Woolworths, BHP, Westpac, ANZ, Telstra
    • Julie Banks, Liberal MP: Commonwealth (Spouse shareholding), Telstra
    • Simon Birmingham, Liberal senator: Telstra
    • Russell Broadbent, Liberal MP: Commonwealth, Telstra
    • Julie Bishop, Liberal MP: Telstra
    • Nick Champion, Labor MP: BHP
    • Julie Collins, Labor MP: Commonwealth (Spouse shareholding)
    • Mark Coulton, Nationals MP: Woolworths, Commonwealth, BHP, Westpac, Telstra
    • Michael Danby, Labor MP: BHP, Westpac, Rio Tinto, ANZ
    • Jason Falinski, Liberal MP: Woolworths, BHP, Telstra
    • David Fawcett, Liberal senator: Rio Tinto
    • Dr Mike Freelander, Labor MP: Commonwealth, BHP, Westpac, ANZ, Telstra
    • Peter Georgiou, One Nation senator: Telstra
    • Andrew Giles, Labor MP (Spouse shareholding): Wesfarmers, Telstra
    • Dr David Gillespie, Nationals MP: Wesfarmers, Woolworths, Commonwealth, BHP, ANZ, NAB, Telstra
    • Ross Hart, Labor MP: Woolworths, Commonwealth, BHP, Westpac, Rio Tinto, ANZ, Telstra
    • Luke Hartsuyker, Nationals MP: Telstra
    • Derryn Hinch, Justice Party senator: Wesfarmers, Commonwealth, Westpac, ANZ
    • Kevin Hogan, Nationals MP: ANZ, Telstra
    • Luke Howarth, Liberal MP: Telstra
    • Steve Irons, Liberal MP: Wesfarmers, BHP, Telstra
    • Barnaby Joyce, Nationals MP (Spouse shareholding): Wesfarmers, Commonwealth, ANZ
    • Kristina Keneally, Labor senator: ANZ
    • Michelle Landry, Liberal MP: NAB
    • David Leyonhjelm, Liberal Democrat senator: BHP, NAB
    • Sue Lines, Labor senator: Telstra
    • David Littleproud, Nationals MP: Woolworths, Commonwealth, BHP, ANZ, Telstra
    • Cathy McGowan, Independent MP: BHP, ANZ, Telstra
    • Brian Mitchell, Labor MP: Woolworths
    • Llew O'Brien, Nationals MP: NAB
    • Ted O'Brien, Liberal MP: Woolworths, Rio Tinto, ANZ
    • Ken O'Dowd, Liberal MP: Wesfarmers, Commonwealth, BHP, Westpac, ANZ, NAB, Telstra
    • Deborah O'Neill, Labor senator: Telstra
    • Cathy O'Toole, Labor senator: Telstra
    • Julie Owens, Labor MP: Telstra
    • Rex Patrick, Centre Alliance Party senator: Commonwealth, BHP
    • Graham Perrett, Labor MP: Wesfarmers, Commonwealth, Westpac
    • Jane Prentice, Liberal MP: BHP
    • Rowan Ramsey, Liberal MP: BHP, ANZ, NAB, Telstra
    • Amanda Rishworth, Labor MP (Spouse shareholding): Wesfarmers, Commonwealth, Westpac, Rio Tinto, Telstra
    • Michelle Rowland, Labor MP: Wesfarmers, Commonwealth, NAB
    • Anne Stanley, Labor MP (Spouse shareholding): Commonwealth
    • Tim Storer, independent senator: BHP, Rio Tinto
    • Wayne Swan, Labor MP: Telstra
    • Dan Tehan, Liberal MP: Telstra
    • Bert van Manen, Liberal MP: Telstra
    • Andrew Wallace, Liberal National Party MP: Telstra
    • Tim Watts, Labor MP: Telstra
    • Lucy Wicks, Liberal MP: Telstra
    • Josh Wilson Labor candidate/former MP: NAB, Telstra
    • Rick Wilson, Liberal MP: Wesfarmers, BHP
    • Tim Wilson, Liberal MP: Commonwealth, Westpac, Rio Tinto, Telstra
    • Ken Wyatt, Liberal MP: Commonwealth, BHP, Westpac, Telstra
    • Tony Zappia, Labor MP: Telstra

    This is not an exhaustive list of MPs' shareholdings in companies that would benefit from the tax cut, as other shares may be held in trusts or in superannuation portfolios.

    Interestingly, several Labor MPs have divested shareholdings in some of the biggest companies since they were elected in 2016.

    When Turnbull was asked about his interests in Question Time on Monday, the PM accused Labor of engaging in class warfare.

    Mick Tsikas / AAPIMAGE

    "If the honorable members opposite want to start a politics of envy campaign about it, I don't think they will be telling people anything they don't know ... The idea that the honourable member wants to create that somehow my wife and I are in a special unique position in terms of our shareholdings is absolutely wrong," he said.

    "Now, by all means the honorable members opposite should go ahead with this if they wish, but I have to say that the politics of envy is one that has failed in the past."

    Josh Taylor is a Senior Reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

    Contact Josh Taylor at josh.taylor@buzzfeed.com.

    Got a confidential tip? Submit it here