CANBERRA, AAP – Big companies will not be forced to reveal how much they received in wage subsidies with the coalition poised to shoot down greater transparency.
Independent senator Rex Patrick last week put forward an amendment to a federal government bill for new coronavirus financial support to include requirements for companies earning more than $10 million.
Under the change, the tax commissioner would publish how much businesses were handed from the JobKeeper scheme and new assistance packages.
But the Morrison government is adamant the information should be kept secret and plans to defeat the amendment in the Senate on Monday.
Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said all JobKeeper recipients were eligible under the rules which were designed to save workers during nationwide lockdowns.
“We don’t think it’s appropriate to create a circumstance where now they are vilified with some sort of pretence that they weren’t eligible when they were eligible,” he told the ABC.
Labor is not expected to back the senator’s amendment when it comes up for reconsideration, having made its point last week when supporting it but not wanting to stand in the way of financial assistance flowing through.
Senator Patrick is urging the opposition to again support his amendment.
“If they don’t, that means they are pretending that they stand for something,” he told ABC radio.
Shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh has led a campaign to name and shame businesses who didn’t hand back JobKeeper payments despite turning big profits.
The Labor frontbencher last week called for a public register for firms with turnovers above $100 million.