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John Passant

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February 2016



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Mastercard, interest rates and tax

I have a MasterCard. The interest on the card depends on which bank and which type of MasterCard you want, but low rate cards start at around ten percent and at the higher end they are about 20% on any unpaid balances.

Given that interest rates in Australia are at almost historic lows, the interest rates banks and other card providers charge is exorbitant. The Senate Economics Reference Committee released a report in December 2015 on credit card charges but its recommendations were anodyne and didn’t address the rip off that is credit card interest.

So, with all this ripping off of Australians, you’d expect MasterCard to make a big profit in Australia and pay lots and lots of tax.

Not on your nelly. According to Michael West in the Fairfax papers:

‘So it is that once you have trawled the database, stumbled upon the relevant entity and paid ASIC the requisite fees, you will find, for instance, that global credit card giant MasterCard last paid $4.3 million in tax to the Tax Office. That was for the year to December 2014. This is lower than the year before, when it somehow got $429,650 back from the taxman, which is nice work if you can get it.

‘The year before this, in 2012, MasterCard managed to claw back $3.4 million from the Tax Office. During the past three years then, this world-wide colossus has parted with a lazy half a million dollars in tax.

‘To be fair, let’s take it back another three years. From 2009 through 2011, MasterCard paid $33 million in corporate income tax.’

You can read the whole article here. Card giant MasterCard lowers local tax bill

So it appears MasterCard gets a lot of revenue from Australia and yet pays little tax here. It screws us with high credit card interest rates and screws us again by not paying much tax here. Shame on MasterCard and shame on our politicians for not addressing the high credit card interest rates or the tax avoidance.



Comment from Ross
Time February 29, 2016 at 9:18 pm

Nothing will change until the whole system collapses. Currently the financial powers are in total control and with the power of money creation, can buy just about anyone.

Comment from Timmy
Time March 1, 2016 at 10:14 am

The interest rates are high because it is unsecured debt. Many, many people don’t pay their credit card bills, so the interest rates are high for everyone.

You were a Tax Commissioner, you should know how the business model of a credit card company works.

But maybe that’s your whole shtick, play dumb and
try and manipulate gullible people to support socialism.

Comment from John
Time March 1, 2016 at 4:22 pm

I wasn’t a tax commissioner. I was an Assistant Commissioner of Taxation. Yes, people do default. One way to address this would have been for higher wages over the last 30 years and today. There seems to be a link in the shift of wealth and income from labour to capital begun with the Hawke/Keating duumvirate and continuing to today with increasing working class personal debt.

Second, why do banks loan to credit risks via credit cards? The current RBA cash rate is 2%. I am not quite sure how unpaid debt on credit cards leads to the rate they charge customers being 20%. And if the debt is so all pervasive and driving high card rates I wonder why there is such a variation from ten% to over 20%. Maybe it is gouging by the banks and MasterCard? Not that a tax avoider like MasterCard, which obviously has total respect for our tax laws, would ever gouge, would it?

Perhaps the only gullible person on this thread is you Timmy.

Comment from Chris Warren
Time March 1, 2016 at 10:23 pm

“Many, many people don’t pay their credit card bills, so the interest rates are high for everyone.”

So where is there the data? Or are you playing dumb?

Comment from Timmy
Time March 2, 2016 at 11:44 am

The loss rate on credit cards is 2.5% of balances compared to 0.02% for secured loans.

Comment from John
Time March 3, 2016 at 6:34 pm

So a 2.55 loss rate imposes a 20% charge on us? Wow.

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