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Rupert Murdoch speaking during a panel discussion at the B20 meeting of company CEOs in Sydney. Photo: Jason Reed - Pool/Getty Images

Rupert Murdoch speaking during a panel discussion at the B20 meeting of company CEOs in Sydney. Photo: Jason Reed - Pool/Getty Images

Rupert Murdoch speaking during a panel discussion at the B20 meeting of company CEOs in Sydney. Photo: Jason Reed - Pool/Getty Images

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch criticised G20 governments for trying to introduce measures to prevent companies using low tax states such as Ireland.

"Do we really expect overseas companies to voluntarily bring profits back to be taxed at 35pc to 40pc in the United States, when the corporate tax rate in Ireland is 12.5pc?" Mr Murdoch asked at a conference on business growth. "This is not the way to achieve economic growth."

The 80-year-old blamed excessive financial regulation for stymieing free markets and urged Group of 20 governments to "take a back seat" to allow businesses to drive economic growth.

Mr Murdoch also said US President Barack Obama was penalising businesses by 
cracking down on so-called "profit shifting" by major corporations to countries with lighter tax regimes, a technique 
that is also in the sights of the G20.

Audacious

"My blood pressure goes up when I think of the number of local, state and federal regulations we have in our lives today," Mr Murdoch told a meeting of the Business 20 (B20) leaders in Sydney, a day after his Twenty-First Century Fox made an audacious $80bn offer for Time Warner.

"That is just in America. Don't even get me started on the European Union."

The B20 was set up in 2010 to give policy recommendations on behalf of the international business community to the G20. Business leaders meeting here are looking to influence the outcome of the G20 Leaders 
Summit in Brisbane in November.

"I believe that business does have a role in shaping public policy, mainly in helping limit the size and scope of government," Mr Murdoch said.

"For businesses large and small, there's simply too 
much red tape, too many subservient politicians stifling economic growth and entrepreneurism."

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Along with targeting growth of 2pc above trend over the next five years, the G20 is tackling corporate "profit shifting", which has allowed multinationals such as Starbucks, Google, Apple and Amazon.com to avoid paying taxes.

G20 finance ministers in February endorsed a set of common standards for sharing bank account information across borders, with automatic exchange of information among G20 members to take effect by the end of 2015.

Mr Obama earlier this year proposed tightening restrictions on US multinationals that shift their tax domiciles abroad in his 2015 budget.

Mr Obama wants to raise the minimum level of foreign ownership in a newly inverted holding company to 50pc from about 20pc, making the deals more difficult.


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