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Defending harmful tax practices: mining companies’ responses to the Australian Senate Inquiry into tax avoidance


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Mikler, J, Elbra, A and Murphy-Gregory, H ORCID: 0000-0002-9993-3331 2019 , 'Defending harmful tax practices: mining companies’ responses to the Australian Senate Inquiry into tax avoidance' , Australian Journal of Political Science, no. 12 Apr , pp. 1-17 , doi: 10.1080/10361146.2019.1601682.

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This article examines the Australian Senate’s 2015–2017 inquiry into corporate tax avoidance to illuminate the tax strategies used by the multinational corporations (MNCs) most targeted by tax justice campaigners, versus those of particular relevance in an Australian context: mining companies. Using documentary analysis, we examine how these companies discursively defended their tax avoidance strategies. Despite differences in the context in which the issue of tax minimisation has risen to prominence, we show that in Australia, MNCs’ legitimacy in paying lower levels of tax has been challenged in a similar manner to that of MNCs in other industry sectors that were held responsible for post-global financial crisis austerity measures in states like the US and UK. This suggests that history and context matter not in and of themselves, but for the impact they have on the discursive power of the actors involved, depending on the visibility and salience of the issue associated with them.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Mikler, J and Elbra, A and Murphy-Gregory, H
Keywords: multinational corporations, tax, mining, senate inquiry, discursive power
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Journal of Political Science
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1036-1146
DOI / ID Number: 10.1080/10361146.2019.1601682
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Copyright 2019 Australian Political Studies Association

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