1
   

Shame, James Hardie, shame!

 
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jun, 2006 05:54 pm
Can't the bloody government pass some kind if quick bill exempting this fund from tax?
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jun, 2006 06:03 pm
Why not, indeed, Deb? People's lives have been on hold for years now, as they've waited, waited & waited .... Some have died as they've waited. First for James Hardie to acknowledge responsibility & now these endless legal battles. Outrageous.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Jul, 2006 06:31 pm
So James Hardie succeeded in getting tax concessions, but still the terms aren't favourable enough for them!:

http://www.smh.com.au/ffximage/2006/06/30/010706_editoon_gallery__470x281,0.jpg
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Jul, 2006 06:48 pm
Last Update: Thursday, June 29, 2006. 10:24pm (AEST)

James Hardie wins tax deduction request for asbestos compo payouts

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has approved a request from James Hardie Industries to make its asbestos compensation payouts tax deductible.

The company announced tonight the ATO would allow the company to deduct the $3 billion that it is expected to pay into a special compensation fund over the next 40 years.

James Hardie Industries says however the final funding agreement to asbestos victims remains in doubt because the ATO is refusing to classify the fund as a charity.
... <cont>

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200606/s1675142.htm

~

Last Update: Friday, June 30, 2006. 9:20am (AEST)

James Hardie out of excuses: Costello

Federal Treasurer Peter Costello says building firm James Hardie now has no excuses for not paying compensation to asbestos victims.

..... Unions and victims groups are concerned that a ruling last week that the fund would not receive charity status continues to jeopardise the deal.

But Mr Costello says James Hardie must acknowledge that the tax ruling is extremely beneficial to the company and make payments to asbestos victims.

"Having tried to cheat and get its money out of the country, it has now been granted full tax deductibility," he said.

"You can't do better than that - it's got itself back in the situation of BHP, CSR.

"Would it like more tax rorts? Of course it would, but it now has no excuse whatsoever but to pay the victims."

Ken Fowlie, who represented unions and victims in last year's negotiations with the company, says yesterday's ruling is a step in the right direction.

But he is still concerned by last week's ruling.

"Until the charitable status of the organisation is cleared up, we still have a problem of tax being paid where it ought not be and where money available for victims will be less as a result," Mr Fowlie said.


http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200606/s1675291.htm
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Jul, 2006 04:15 am
http://www.smh.com.au/ffximage/2006/07/09/100706_cartoon_gallery__470x298.jpg
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Sep, 2006 07:10 am
Last Update: Tuesday, September 19, 2006. 12:42pm (AEST)

Hardie asbestos victims protest over directors' pay rise

Asbestos victims and unions are protesting outside an annual meeting in Sydney of building products giant James Hardie.

They are angry the company's board is proposing to more than double fees for directors, while a compensation package for asbestos victims is yet to be finalised.


Vice president of the Asbestos Diseases Foundation, Bernie Banton, says it is an obscene gesture.

"They gave an undertaking that they would not seek this until the deal was done, but once again they've reneged on their word and they're just leaving victims hanging by the shorts again. It's just obnoxious," he said. .. <cont>

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200609/s1744359.htm
0 Replies
 
lezzles
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Sep, 2006 08:26 am
The real obscenity is that we let the bastards do it!
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Sep, 2006 08:34 am
How do you mean?
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Sep, 2006 08:40 am
http://www.smh.com.au/ffximage/2006/09/20/210906_editoon_gallery__470x335,0.jpg
0 Replies
 
lezzles
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Sep, 2006 09:14 am
They (Hardies) have been found responsible and ordered to pay compensation. They have used all sorts of excuses and ploys to avoid doing this, obviously hoping the majority of the victims will not make the distance.

My point is that we, as a society, have let them get away with this. We have a reputation for being apathetic. We like to believe that a home-grown company like Hardies will "do the right thing" and "give the other bloke a fair go".

We are so naive.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Sep, 2006 07:16 am
I don't know about that, lezzles .... At the time that asbestos was used in the building industry ordinary folk didn't know about the hideous consequences for the workers, years later. Then, when we did know, after all the publicity, James Hardie did a midnight flit from the country, followed by these interminably slow legalities regarding compensation. I honestly think most (informed) Australians are 100% behind the the victims. It's James Hardie that has behaved reprehensively in my opinion. It's an utter disgrace that those compensation payments have not yet been paid.
0 Replies
 
lezzles
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Sep, 2006 07:24 pm
Sorry msolga, I feel I have not expressed myself clearly enough.

I do not, for one moment, disagree with what you are saying.
I often get a bit annoyed when people describe Australians as 'apathetic', which suggests they couldn't care less. I think the word 'naive' is a little more appropriate because it indicates people in general are unaware of the problem.

I took the time to read up on the JH scandal. Although I am usually a bit wary of publications issued by the extreme left (or right), I found this very interesting:

http://www.greenleft.org.au/back/2004/598/598p24.htm

which led me to -

http://www.safetyline.wa.gov.au/institute/level2/course21/lecture95/195_04.asp

which, in a nutshell, says -

1898 - a report to the UK Parliament by the Chief Inspector of Factories advised of the 'evil effects of asbestos dust';

1906 - British Parliamentary Committee confrmed the first cases of asbestosis in factories in Britain;

1918 - An American insurance company produced a study showing premature deaths in the asbestos industry;

1926 - Massachusetts' Industrial Accidents Board processed the first successful compensation claim by a sick asbestos worker;

1930 - The Merryweather and Price Report to the UK Parliament is recognised as an important medical record;

1935 - The Western Australian Factory and Shops Inspector reports on the effect of asbestos dust on the lungs of workers in James Hardie's factory in Perth; etc. etc. etc.

The knowledge of the dangers of asbestos to the general public (from housing materials, etc) was not shared with them until the seventies.

We are so naive because we are not demanding to know why legal safeguards have not been put in place to prevent companies like James Hardie from being able to grab the money box and scoot off to the Netherlands. (After all, it's only been 70 years since the problem was officially identified!)

I admit to knowing absolutely nothing about company law. But it seems to be devoted to the protection of greedy, grasping companies from having to face their responsibilities.

I told you I was too cynical for all this!! :wink:
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Sep, 2006 04:19 pm
lezzles wrote:
We are so naive because we are not demanding to know why legal safeguards have not been put in place to prevent companies like James Hardie from being able to grab the money box and scoot off to the Netherlands. (After all, it's only been 70 years since the problem was officially identified!)

I admit to knowing absolutely nothing about company law. But it seems to be devoted to the protection of greedy, grasping companies from having to face their responsibilities.


It's hard to know what "ordinary people" can do about this, lezzles. It's very frustrating.
Me, I'm absolutely outraged by the shoddy way the victims of James Hardie's irresponsibility have been treated by the company. And continue to be treated, as the directors line up for their massive pay rise! Sickening! Evil or Very Mad
The NSW government has tried to get some justice through the courts.
Unions have attempted to get James Hardie to take responsibility, without success so far.
I think the Federal government could definitely have been more forceful in defence of the workers' compensation claim. It's all been about legalities from them, it seems. Not much compassion & determination to take the company on.
Why isn't this a more important issue in our media? I don't know.
IMO James Hardie should be shamed internationally. A few "sanctions" might encourage them to meet their obligations!
How dare they just leave the country & carry on as if they're a respectable company!
0 Replies
 
Adrian
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Sep, 2006 04:48 pm
I don't quite see where the anger is coming from. JH have been and are continuing to pay all compensation claims. The tax exemption they were given only covered JH's contributions to the fund, it didn't cover the earnings of the fund. The fact that JH are pushing for that further tax exemption is good business sense. If I were a shareholder it is exactly what I would expect from the directors.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Sep, 2006 05:01 pm
Of course it's good business sense for James Hardie!
If they are in fact paying all compensation claims, are the folk we hear from in the media (who are "still waiting") lying to us? Confused
0 Replies
 
Adrian
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Sep, 2006 05:08 pm
They aren't lying but they are being disingenuous. What they are "still waiting" for is an assurance that they compensation fund will continue and that it won't run out of money. JH have repeatedly said that they won't let that happen and the only thing stopping the whole issue from disappearing is the tax exemption status. If JH doesn't get what they want they will still pay the money but the cost to the company will blow out by hundreds of millions of dollars.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Sep, 2006 05:18 pm
Adrian wrote:
They aren't lying but they are being disingenuous. What they are "still waiting" for is an assurance that they compensation fund will continue and that it won't run out of money.


And surely that is perfectly reasonable?
Why would they trust James Hardie after the way it's behaved?
I understand the arguments about the company needing to remain profitable to maintain those compensation payments, but the expectation that the Australian taxpayers underwrite JH's responsibilities (when they've skipped the country) is a bit rich.
James Hardies' major concern is profit & their shareholders.
The victims have been treated like the meat in the sandwich in the courts as JH has pursued the best deal it can get.
0 Replies
 
Adrian
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Sep, 2006 09:14 pm
Yes it is reasonable and yes it would be quite hard for the victims to trust JH but, at this stage the victims don't really have anything to do with what's going on. They are receiving their payments and that will continue.

The only issue here is whether JH pay tax on those payments. They have been given an exemption on the money they pay into the compensation fund but they haven't been given an exemption on the earnings of that fund ie. the interest it earns. If they don't get that exemption they will have to make up the shortfall, which over the life of the fund could be hundreds of millions of dollars.

At this stage in the proceedings it's just a financial arguement between JH and the Tax Office. None of what's going on now will have any impact on the victims. The whole "Make James Hardie Pay" campaign succeeded years ago.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Sep, 2006 02:00 am
Adrian wrote:
At this stage in the proceedings it's just a financial arguement between JH and the Tax Office. None of what's going on now will have any impact on the victims. The whole "Make James Hardie Pay" campaign succeeded years ago.


There are also (to me, anyway!) serious moral implications about the way this company has behaved. Everything appears to have been motivated by what's good for the company - their Australian victims have been left waiting & hanging on until James Hardie has received the best deal possible for itself & its own shareholders before reaching an almost satisfactory agreement. There are other JH victims - in NZ, Indonesia & Malaysia - & concerns about how a settlement in Australia might influence them have stalled reaching a settlement here. Plus concerns about reaching the best possible exemptions with the Tax Office (in other words, us tax payers) apparently is the last delay.

I count the extreme stress the Australian victims have been through, as this process goes through the courts again & again, as worth something, too! As if contracting asbestos-related illnesses is not enough, these people have had to endure the court battles & constant hold-ups, while James Hardie pushed (& continues to push) for the best financial deal it can get! Some have died without knowing what the long-term compensation deal would actually be for their families.

So I can't accept that this is simply some "process" between James Hardie & the Tax Office. None of this excuses their past & present attitude to the very people who worked to create their profits for them. To grant their directors huge salary increases before compensation is properly settled is insensitive at the very least - & just plain immoral at the worst. That's my opinion & I'm sticking to it.
0 Replies
 
Adrian
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Sep, 2006 08:53 pm
I accept everything you are saying Msolga. I just don't really see any reason to be angry about it now. Nobody working for JH now had anything to do with asbestos, they are just trying to get this whole thing sorted out without sending the company broke.

As an aside, and at the risk of making you more angry, I have read a few opinions that the reason why JH are dragging their feet is because the statute of limitations is approaching. Once that passes JH could theoretically force through a settlement unsatisfactory to the victims and they would not be able to launch legal action. Suppossedly a fair few of them have been holding off on legal action on the understanding that JH would take care of them. That's all just speculation though.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Beached As Bro - Discussion by dadpad
Oz election thread #3 - Rudd's Labour - Discussion by msolga
Australian music - Discussion by Wilso
Oz Election Thread #6 - Abbott's LNP - Discussion by hingehead
AUstralian Philosophers - Discussion by dadpad
Australia voting system - Discussion by fbaezer
 
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 10/15/2021 at 05:00:58