Dick Smith slams Turnbull government over “rubbish” tax disclosure changes; Former Kleenmaid director jailed after $13 million loan fraud: Midday Roundup

Dick Smith slams Turnbull government over “rubbish” tax disclosure changes; Former Kleenmaid director jailed after $13 million loan fraud: Midday Roundup

Former Australian of the Year and serial entrepreneur Dick Smith has slammed the Turnbull government over proposed changes to tax disclosure laws, accusing the Coalition of caving in to the big business lobby.

Wealthy individuals are arguing reform to forthcoming Australia’s tax disclosure rules is necessary because the proposed laws apparently leave chief executives vulnerable to kidnapping.

Smith told Fairfaxit was “absolute rubbish” that wealthy individuals would be at risk if their companies were forced to keep disclosing how much tax they pay.

“They do it themselves… they buy waterfront properties, big boats and big planes,” Smith said.

“I’m really disappointed in the Coalition on this, I think it is very important they don’t change this and I am asking the Prime Minister not to change this. Otherwise he will be ratting on typical Australians who pay their tax.”

The bill to alter Australia’s tax disclosure laws is currently before the Senate.


Former Kleenmaid director jailed for seven years


Former Kleenmaid director Gary Armstrong has been sentenced to seven years in jail for his role in the collapse of the whitegoods distributor.

Armstrong pleaded guilty to one charge of dishonestly gaining a $13 million loan from Westpac and two counts of insolvent trading in the Brisbane District Court last month.

Kleenmaid collapsed in 2009. At the time, the company employed around 200 staff and operated 15 retail franchises.

Liquidators reported consolidated debts of around $100 million.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has been pursuing court action against Kleenmaid’s former directors since 2012.

ASIC commissioner John Price said Armstrong’s sentence should serve as a warning to all company directors.

“It cannot be any clearer,” Price said.

“If you choose to act in this way, there is a very good chance you will be caught and there is a very good chance you will go to jail.”

Armstrong will be eligible for parole in February 2018.


Shares up on open


Aussie shares have nudged higher this morning after a positive lead from Wall Street over the weekend.

The S&P/ASX 200 benchmark was up 91.2 points to 5143.2 points at 11:59am AEST. On Saturday, the Dow Jones closed 200.36 points higher, up 1.23% to 16,472.37 points.

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