When rorting starts at the top, it permeates all aspects of the economy

I thought that the tax concessions provided to small business (worth nearly $5 billion) might be rorted by some unscrupulous people.

But Joe Hockey certainly doesn’t agree:  “People suggest that somehow small business wants to rip off everyone.  I mean, that is just ridiculous,” he said on ABC radio. 

But there are accountants being quoted in the same article with a whole lot of creative ideas about ways to rort system.

“It’s a national sport – they will think about ways to do it, and never underestimate people’s ingenuity,” said RSM Bird tax services director Cameron Cooper.

KPMG tax partner Simon Le Maistre, who was a former assistant commissioner at the ATO, said that if people did try and mask items as business items when in fact they are primarily for personal use, it would be hard for the ATO to find out.

And while we’re talking of rorting, it is always worth remembering parliamentary living away from home allowances and travel expenses. It is a national sport and it starts at the top.

 Ex-Speaker Peter Slipper
Ex-Speaker Peter Slipper

Slipper made the mistake of getting confused about his Parliamentary entitlements and accepting Labor Party’s offer to become speaker. He is the only parliamentarian ever to be charged with falsifying his expenses.

The list of those who have not been charged is exceptionally long

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