The Turnbull government has struck a deal with the Greens to enable its multinational tax-avoidance laws to clear parliament.
The agreed amendments, labelled a “dirty deal” by Labor, mean that multinational companies with a turnover of $1 billion or more will have to provide a detailed account of their tax arrangements, as will private businesses with a turnover of $200 million plus.
“If we did not support this legislation, there would be nothing,” Greens leaders Richard Di Natale told reporters in Canberra on Thursday, in reference to a government threat to abandon its legislation.
Labor Senate leader Penny Wong lashed out at the Greens, labelling them “tax transparency traitors”.
“You will vote with the coalition to sell out Australian taxpayers,” she told parliament.
Labor frontbencher Stephen Conroy accused Senator Di Natale of being “spineless”.
“I never thought you would cave to the big end of town,” he said.
Senator Di Natale hit back, saying the new laws made “big steps” toward transparency: “We either get nothing or we get significant strides forward – simple equation.”
Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson said Labor was talking “absolute BS” because it was angry the Greens beat them to a deal with the government.
“We are on the side of angels,” he said. “This just shows today how irrelevant the Labor party have become.”