Our No Jab, No Pay policy has seen vaccination rates improving rapidly. Ensuring Australia has a herd immunity will keep children and communities safe that’s why we’re aiming for 95% of children to be immunised.
Families currently receiving Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate have just over a week left to get their child’s immunisations on track by 18 March 2016 to avoid the risk of losing child care payments.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who has been controversially targeted by Labor over his extensive offshore investments, has updated his pecuniary interests to include a European investment fund that holds shares in pharmaceutical companies and cigarette maker British American Tobacco.
The Australian newspaper reported this week that two of Mr Turnbull’s other investment funds hold shares in Japan Tobacco, maker of Camel cigarettes. Mr Turnbull’s office declined to comment but anti-tobacco campaigner Simon Chapman said it was difficult to know exactly where funds invest their money but said he would expect Mr Turnbull might consider “pulling out” of those particular funds. Read More: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/malcolm-turnbull-urged-to-dump-investments-in-tobacco-companies-20151022-gkfinl.html
What’s on Malcolm Turnbull’s Register of Interests?
First, there are the listed companies and funds*. Among them is the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust [NYSEARCA:SPY]. Over the last two years, SPY is up by nearly 40%. This ETF is relatively popular because it offers exposure to big-name stocks, whilst being balanced and accessible. The Trust’s top ten holdings are Apple Inc., Microsoft Corporation, Exxon Mobil, Johnson & Johnson, GE, Wells Fargo, Berkshire Hathaway (Class B), JPMorgan, Amazon.com, and (Pfizer Inc). Apple is the most substantial holding, at 3.8%. To put that in context, Microsoft comes next at 2.03%. So it’s very tech heavy. But perhaps not as tech heavy as Vanguard Information Technology ETF [NYSEARCA:VGT], which Turnbull bought in July last year. VGT’s top five holdings are Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and IBM. http://www.moneymorning.com.au/20150915/where-does-new-pm-malcolm-turnbull-invest-his-money-cw.html
Lucy Turnbull will remain Chair of Australian biotechnology company Prima BioMed.
Prima BioMed is a clinical stage immuno-oncology company, currently in product collaborations with Novartis and GSK.
Ms Turnbull said she would reassess her corporate commitments following her husband’s elevation to the prime ministership in September.
She has subsequently stood down as deputy chairman of Australia’s largest private ferry operator, SeaLink Travel Group, but was yesterday re-elected Chair of Prima Biomed at its Annual General Meeting yesterday.
“The Board is delighted that Lucy is standing for re-election,” said Non-Executive Director Russell Howard. “Despite her considerable new responsibilities, she remains committed to development of Prima’s immunotherapy products for the benefit of cancer patients, as well as Prima shareholders. Lucy has made a highly valued contribution to the Board over the past 5 years. We have her ongoing support and counsel going forward.” http://biotechdispatch.com.au/lucy-turnbull-sticks-with-prima-biomed/#sthash.m4LC4oOI.dpbs
Among the more unusual investments detailed by the register were the Minister’s positions in ETFs based on the commodities platinum and palladium, and his wife’s keen interest in pharmaceutical companies. http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2013/11/why-is-lucy-turnbull-dodging-australian-equities/
Tax avoidance inquiry calls on nine ‘big pharma’ bosses to explain tax contribution
The bosses of nine of Australia’s largest multinational pharmaceutical companies will appear in front of a Senate committee investigating corporate tax avoidance.
Representatives from Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, Novartis, AstraZeneca, Sanofi, Eli Lilly, and Merck Sharp & Dohne have all been requested to appear at public hearings on July 1.
The next phase of the tax avoidance inquiry comes months after the headline-grabbing appearance of executives from Google, Apple and Microsoft who struggled to explain why those companies pay so little tax in Australia.
The move on “big pharma” came after Australian Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan told a Senate estimates hearing this month that at least four large drug makers are being audited by the tax office. “Clearly there are [ATO] investigations happening in that industry,” he said.
Mr Jordan, who has said that the pharmaceutical industry displays “some of the attributes of the tech industry”, said the importation of drugs manufactured overseas and the payment of royalties for the intellectual property behind them made tax minimisation possible for the industry.
It also comes after Fairfax Media revealed that the five biggest suppliers of publicly subsidised medicines in Australia recorded sales of nearly $5 billion last year but paid an average of just $10 million each in company tax.
Research by the Parliamentary Library disclosed the tax contribution of multinational pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer and AstraZeneca, makers of common cholesterol drugs Lipitor and Crestor, respectively.
It found Pfizer and Sanofi-Aventis both reported losses in Australia in 2014. Those companies received a combined $1.1 billion from the taxpayer for supplying medicines through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
In total, the top five pharmaceutical suppliers to the PBS received $2.8 billion in public money. Their total Australian sales were $4.8 billion. But the research found their combined profits were a slim $50 million. They paid $53 million in tax between them – or roughly 1¢ in tax for every dollar earned in Australia. http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tax-avoidance-inquiry-calls-on-nine-big-pharma-bosses-to-explain-tax-contribution-20150619-ghrzw6.html