Patrick confirms he won’t back down on FASEA bill

The Centre Alliance senator whose last minute amendment scuppered the passage of the FASEA extension bill through Parliament last week says he will insist on the amendment if the bill returns to the Senate, meaning the bill will be killed if the government won’t support the amendment.

An email from senator Rex Patrick to AIOFP executive director Peter Johnston, seen by ifa, said the senator will insist on the amendment if it is rejected by the House of Representatives, meaning the bill is likely to be sacrificed by the government as the House cannot force the Senate to vote on the bill in its original form.

"The bill having passed the Senate, where people were trying to pressure me not to do the right thing, it is now in the hands of the government, where good people such as yourself can pressure them to do the right thing," Mr Patrick said.

"You need to apply that pressure because if the bill is rejected by the House and comes back to the Senate, I will ask the Senate to insist on the amendment."

Mr Patrick's amendment relates to bringing grandfathered large proprietary companies into ASIC's reporting regime, which the senator said "creates an environment that may very well encourage aggressive tax minimisation behaviour".

"The Coalition government opposed the amendment, despite Minister Hume not being able to give any policy reason for doing so. However, it was supported by Labor, the Greens, and the crossbench, all of whom don’t want the exemption, which applies to many of Australia’s ‘rich listers’, to remain," Mr Patrick said.

Mr Patrick said that he was "fully supportive of [the advice] industry getting the extensions that it needs", but would not back down on forcing the government to address the loophole, to the extent that he proposed to hold up successive Treasury omnibus bills until his amendment was accepted.

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"I foreshadowed putting the same amendment to other Treasury bills – so that the government get the idea that they just need to deal with the loophole. I have drafting instructions in for another bill that is before the Senate. I am hopeful to circulate those amendment on Monday so the government get the idea," he said.

Mr Patrick suggested the advice industry lobby government ministers to accept the amendment as the only possible option to save the bill.

"It's out of my hands now," he said.

Patrick confirms he won’t back down on FASEA bill
Rex Patrick
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