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Australia's Government Really Is Worried Tax Disclosures Could Lead To Kidnappings

The biggest private companies to be exempt from transparency laws.

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The Assistant Treasurer's office has confirmed concerns about child kidnappings is one of the reasons the government will move to exempt 700 of Australia's biggest private companies from new tax transparency laws.

Today's Australian Financial Review reported the government would move to exclude the mega-rich private companies from opening their tax books to the public on July 1.

A spokesman for the assistant treasurer Josh Frydenberg's office confirmed to BuzzFeed News there are serious concerns wealthy families could become the target of kidnappers, if private companies were included.

"There are a range of personal and commercial concerns about the disclosures. We're talking about private owned companies here," he said.

Opposition spokesman Andrew Leigh said the laws were originally designed by the formal Labor government to expose multi-national tax avoidance from companies like Google and Apple.

Don't fall off your chair, but the Coalition want to scrap tax transparency for multinationals

And former treasurer Wayne Swan came in with a zinger.

Allowing big companies to keep tax details secret is more evidence Abbott & Hockey are strong taxing the weak and weak taxing the strong

The "kidnapping" excuse and its hypocrisy was immediately seized upon by some people in the media.

.@BernardKeane I trust Abbott is banning the publication of the BRW rich list.