MESSAGE FROM OUR CEO – 15 September 2017

UNFAIR CONTRACTS: The Australian, September 7, 2017 under the heading ‘Test case for new small business contracts law’ reported: “Waste management firm JJ Richards is the first big company to land in court for allegedly breaching new unfair contract laws in its dealings with small business.” And, “Small business ombudsman Kate Carnell has used the legal changes to ensure the big banks played by the new rules.”

The ACC is to be commended for taking the action and in protecting small businesses from the big end of town predators.

MALFEASANCE: seems to know no bounds when it comes to the Unions in collusion with the big end of town, as reported in The Australian, September 11, 2017 under the heading ‘SDA’s shock deal with retailers to secure fee deductions’ (copied below), stating that: “The ALP’s biggest union affiliate, the shop assistants union, has been paying 10 per cent of members’ dues in commissions to Coles and Woolworths under an extraordinary arrangement that generously compensated the supermarket giants for deducting union fees from the pay of thousands of workers.”

And, the malfeasance continues. The Australian, on that date (copied below) also reported ‘APRA turns up heat on union super millions’: “The financial regulator will be granted broad new powers to force the $2.3 trillion superannuation industry to make detailed disclosures of millions of dollars in hidden annual payments to unions and employer groups, and issue orders against any fund that fails to act in the best interests of its members.”

“The Australian revealed last week the 47 trade unions had managed to build a combined political war chest now worth $1.5bn in ­assets and an estimated $900m a year in income. The government claims there was a widespread practice of paying directors’ fees, applicable to union officials that sit on the boards of the industry super funds, directly to the unions rather than the directors themselves.”

In addition, The Financial Review reported on 12.9.17: “The industry superannuation fund gravy train that breaks all the rules of good corporate governance will be heavily jolted if a bill that died in federal parliament two years ago gets through the Senate this time around. A law forcing a minimum one-third independent directors on the boards of all super funds is due to be presented to parliament on Wednesday by Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer.

Grace Collier writing in the same edition of The Australian (copied below) said: “In this year’s budget, the federal government endorsed a “tax transparency code”. This accomplished nothing other than to make life easier for the enemies of free enterprise.

Further, a union can own and operate any business at all and pay no income tax on the profit made. For example, a union could own and operate a chain of coffee shops and all the profit from those coffee shops would be income-tax exempt.

These arrangements can only be described as a racket. But it is a racket that some employer groups have helped create because they too pay no income tax. The Coalition must remedy this scenario as a matter of urgency. It must clean up the income scams, then apply corporate taxes to both the unions and the employer groups.”

Collier is right, both of these malfeasances will continue to be perpetrated with impunity unless and until the Government and its agencies take decisive action to clean up the scams as a matter of urgency.