Government introduces legislation to crack down on multinational tax avoidance; Facebook to roll out a dislike button: Midday Roundup


Joe Hockey has introduced draft legislation to parliament that will mean larger penalties for big businesses not paying their fair share of tax.

The proposed laws would apply to more than 1000 companies with operations in Australia with global revenue of $1 billion or more, according to The Australian.

The legislation will give the tax commissioner the power to force the companies to pay tax on the profit they make from activities undertaken in Australia.

“These companies represent the highest risk to Australia’s tax base,” Hockey said.

“We are sending a clear message that if you deliberately and artificially avoid paying tax in Australia, this is not acceptable. This undermines the public faith in the tax system and that leaves families and small businesses to unfairly carry the taxation burden.”

Facebook to roll out a dislike button

Facebook will soon roll out a dislike button, according to founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Speaking at a public Q&A event in the US, Zuckerberg said the dislike button will enable Facebook users to engage with posts deserving of empathy, according to TechCrunch.

“I think people have asked about the dislike button for many years,” Zuckerberg said.

“Today is the day where I actually get to say that we’re working on it and are very close to shipping a test of it.”

“Not every moment is a good moment, right?” Zuckerberg said.

“And if you are sharing something that is sad, whether it’s something in current events like the refugee crisis that touches you or if a family member passed away, then it might not feel comfortable to like that post.”

Shares up on open

Aussie shares are trading slightly higher this morning following gains on Wall Street overnight.

Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said in a statement the performance of Australia’s sharemarket will hinge on the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate announcement later this week.

“Last night’s US market moves appeared to be a logical response to the possibility that the Fed will begin the gradual process of lifting interest rates this week,” Spooner said.

“Share markets rallied, reflecting solid growth in the US domestic economy and the potential for the Fed to increase certainty and reduce volatility by acting at the September meeting. Bonds, on the other hand, were sold in with yields rising in response to the potential for a gradual increase in funding costs.”

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 1.32%, rising 67.3 points to 5085.7 points at 11.18am AEST. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones closed up 1.4 %, rising 228.89 points to 16,599.85 points.

Broede Carmody is a former senior reporter at SmartCompany. Previously, he was a co-editor of RMIT University's student magazine Catalyst.

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