Trade associations have warned against calls asking them to reveal the names of all large employers who have received JobKeeper payments, despite recording profits.
Independent Senator Rex Patrick, with the help of workers, has passed a motion ordering disclosure of all large corporations that received wage subsidies, the amount received, and, if applicable, the amount repaid.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasury Secretary Josh Frydenberg previously said that returning JobKeeper’s payments if the company makes a profit is what they “do what they think is appropriate.”
Many profit-recording companies have repaid their subsidies, but others have chosen not to.
The Australian Industrial Group (Ai Group) called for a proposal to publish a list of “names and shame” for companies that went in the wrong direction, saying the logic behind it was “amazing.”
“Ironically, it’s not surprising that JobKeeper has been so successful that these companies are now facing criticism,” said Ai Group’s CEO. Ines Willox said on Sunday.
“For absolute clarity, the proposed criteria for naming and shame do not prove that the companies involved have acted fraudulently or misrepresented their situation in order to receive JobKeeper. “He said.
Willox said the fact that the JobKeeper handed over with bipartisan support was not designed to be repaid was a significant reason why the stimulus was effective.
The Australian Chamber of Commerce (ACCI) responded to the Ai Group by saying that the request was “short-sighted” and that the scheme was not a loan.
“Efforts to disclose the names of specific companies that were recipients of the JobKeeper scheme are deliberate attempts to defame thousands of employers,” said Andrew McKellar, CEO of ACCI.
According to McKeller, companies that advocate paying according to the rules and revealing a complete list of JobKeeper recipients have forgotten the situation where the scheme was implemented.
Tax Secretary Chris Jordan and Treasurer said they could push Patrick’s motion back and set a dangerous precedent for disclosing personal information without their consent.
In another letter Jordan insisted on a public interest exemption from the order to the Senate chair, and Frydenberg upheld the allegation.
“Support these [tax secrecy] Therefore, the law is essential to Australians’ continued trust in the government and the guarantees it provides regarding the protection of Australian sensitive information, “Frydenberg wrote on August 26.
Both Ai Group and ACCI agree with Jordan’s warning that privacy concerns should not be dismissed.
“If confidentiality is compromised, companies will be worried about providing sensitive information to the ATO,” McKellar said. “It’s going wrong to ask some senators to publish the names of companies that use this system. We urge the Senate not to follow this path.”