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4 in 5 Australians want PwC banned from new government work 

Regulation

Almost half said the firm should be slapped with a permanent ban, according to research by The Australia Institute.

By Josh Needs 10 minute read

Almost four in five Australians (79 per cent) want to see PwC banned from receiving any additional government work due to the infamous confidential tax leak. 

Research by The Australia Institute found only two percent of respondents were against PwC being banned from government work, with 19 per cent unsure. 

Of those surveyed, 45 per cent thought the ban should be permanent while the rest believed it should be banned for at least some time, five per cent said less than two years, 12 per cent for between two and five years and 16 per cent for between five and 10 years. 

Director of the Australia Institute’s democracy and accountability program Bill Browne said the firm’s breach of trust with the government and then the wider public had seen public opinion turn against it. 

“There is overwhelming public support for PwC to face serious consequences for its gross breach of integrity and trust,” said Mr Browne. 

“The consequences for PwC’s abuse of public trust cannot be limited to when the political and media heat is on, but must be long-lasting to show that this behaviour will not be tolerated.” 

“The consulting firm has shown it cannot be trusted to continue receiving government work that can and should be performed by public servants.” 

The survey comes after the chairman of the Tax Practitioners Board, Peter de Cure, told the Senate Economics Legislation Committee it had imposed sanctions it found appropriate at the time and did not plan on suspending the firm further. 

“When we completed our investigation, we went through the process of considering relevant things to impose a sanction,” said Mr de Cure. 

“We imposed the sanctions on PwC that were about making sure that these problems did not occur again in the future, and we considered that to be appropriate at the time.” 

“We currently have ongoing consideration of the matters surrounding the issue, and we are making some further inquiries, but we don’t have a current plan to suspend PwC.” 

The Australia Institute’s survey found a permanent ban on PwC receiving government work was the most popular response across all voting intentions, as it was the choice of 59 per cent of One Nation voters, 55 per cent of Greens voters, 55 per cent of Independent/Other voters, 43 per cent of Coalition voters and 39 per cent of Labor voters. 

The findings come after Prime Minister Anthony Albanese had labelled PwC’s tax leak as “deeply troubling.” 

“The breaches in confidentiality by PwC is an absolute scandal and it is deeply troubling,” said Prime Minister Albanese. 

“I’m sure that anyone who has a look at the details that have been revealed for those events that occurred, of course, back in 2018 and around then, when PwC was giving advice to the then government on multinational tax changes, finds these revelations are shocking.” 

The Australia Institute’s survey was a nationally representative sample of 1,002 people between 6–9 June.

 



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Josh Needs

Josh Needs

AUTHOR

Josh Needs is a journalist at Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser, which are the leading sources of news, strategy, and educational content for professionals in the accounting and SMSF sectors.

Josh studied journalism at the University of NSW and previously wrote news, feature articles and video reviews for Unsealed 4x4, a specialist offroad motoring website. Since joining the Momentum Media Team in 2022, Josh has written for Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser.

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