The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) is commending the Senate Economics Reference Committee which today announced an Inquiry into the financial and tax practices of Australia’s for-profit aged care providers.
It comes just a week after the ANMF released a new report, prepared by the Tax Justice Network – Australia, Tax avoidance by for-profit aged care companies: profit shifting on public funds (the Report), showing that the top six for profit providers received $2.17 Billion in government subsidies but paid little, or no tax.
The Committee has announced the Inquiry into “the financial and tax practices of for-profit aged care providers”, to examine in particular:
- The use of any tax avoidance or aggressive tax minimisation strategies;
- The associated impacts on the quality of service delivery, the sustainability of the sector, or value for money for government;
- The adequacy of accountability and probity mechanisms for the expenditure of tax payer money;Whether current practices meet public expectations.
The ANMF’s A/Federal Secretary, Annie Butler, welcomed the Inquiry on behalf of its members working in the sector and importantly, the elderly, nursing home residents they care for.
“Aged care residents receive one and a half hours less care than they should, every day. Yet there are no rules to ensure the $2.17 Billion in government subsidies given to these for-profit providers is spent directly on their care,” Ms Butler said today.
“So we look forward to this Inquiry publically examining these providers’ financial and tax practices and thank the Senators for listening to the concerns raised in the Report, which revealed these providers have the financial capacity to employ more nurses and carers but are placing their profits and shareholders before safe care for their residents by using available loopholes to avoid paying their fair share of tax.
“Companies that receive millions of dollars via Australian Government subsidies should be required by law to meet higher standards of transparency in financial reporting. Proof of government funding being directly spent on the care of elderly residents needs to be mandated as a pre-requisite to receiving a subsidy.”