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THE NEWS WRAP: Government reference group to look at new tax on multinationals

Monday, 10 December 2012 | By Oliver Milman

Multinational companies such as Starbucks, Google and Apple may face a new specific tax amid growing pressure over tax avoidance in Australia and elsewhere.

 

In the UK, Starbucks has offered to voluntarily pay £10 million ($15.2 million) after it was revealed it hasn’t paid corporation tax in the past three years, despite making £3 billion ($4.5 billion) revenue.

 

Now, a special reference group has been set up by the Australian government to make recommendations on how to minimise tax avoidance here.

 

Woolies backs out of ACCC protocol

 

Woolworths has said that it won’t tell the competition regulator when it buys small businesses, claiming that the move would produce too much red tape.

 

The supermarket giant said that it will not join a new ACCC protocol set up to assess takeovers by the two big grocery chains, to ensure they do not gain too much market power.

 

Smart meters won't be compulsory

 

Consumer groups have welcomed a government assurance that Australian households will not be forced to purchase smart electricity meters.

 

A meeting of the Council of Australian Government saw several state leaders cast doubt over whether the smart meter scheme, which allows users to monitor their electricity usage, was effective.

 

Markets

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 81.09 points, or 0.62%, to 13,155.13 on Friday. The Australian dollar rose to US104.87 cents.