The scam is, after years of paying virtually nothing for 6 years on $23bn in total income, they are making so much coin, it might be getting tougher for Santos, indeed all the epic tax dodgers of the fossil fuel sector, to wriggle out of income tax.
There’s more than $4b just sitting there in cash on its balance sheet, the latest accounts reveal.
Thanks to rampaging global gas prices, cashflow leapt from $US3.5bn to $US4.7bn last year, and tax crept from a minuscule $US5m to a modest $US115m. It’s still half what they paid in dividends and they may well have paid it in PNG, not Australia; still it’s a taste of things to come this earnings season.
Time to cap tax losses like they do in other countries such as the US.
Michael West established michaelwest.com.au to focus on journalism of high public interest, particularly the rising power of corporations over democracy. Formerly a journalist and editor at Fairfax newspapers and a columnist at News Corp, West was appointed Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Sydney’s School of Social and Political Sciences.