Leading Australian businessman Clive Palmer said it was time for ASIC chairman James Shipton to do the honourable thing and fall on his sword following today’s resignation of the corporate watchdog’s deputy chair Daniel Crennan over an expenses scandal.
“ASIC is rotten to the core – the deputy chair has resigned over a wrongful $70,000 housing payment and the chairman James Shipton has stood aside while being investigated for using the public purse to help him avoid paying Australian taxation,’’ Mr Palmer said.
“James Shipton should follow his deputy and resign immediately. The longer he is there the longer ASIC will be open to ridicule.”
Mr Palmer said $118,000 in tax payer funds have been spent on personal tax advice for Mr Shipton and a further $78,000 of tax payer money paid towards his fringe benefits tax. It is understood the tax advice from KPMG was around how to deal with Mr Shipton’s personal investments and optimisation of tax benefits.
“This matter needs to be referred to the Australian Federal police. Any investigation handled by public servants will always have the appearance of favours being given by the Government. Also, a parliamentary enquiry needs to be conducted.
“How can everyday Australians trust the chief corporate watchdog when the chairman uses tax payer funds to pay KPMG to help him avoid tax?
“James Shipton has his snout in the trough, having a feeding frenzy at the tax payers’ expense.
“It is time he fell on his sword. Goodbye James, Goodbye.”