The Guardian • Issue #2061

Four in five want PwC on the outside

  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2061
PricewaterhouseCoopers Building In Johannesburg, South Africa

PricewaterhouseCoopers Building In Johannesburg, South Africa. Photo: TapticInfo – (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Bad, but not surprising news for large accounting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC), recently caught using its work for the Australian Tax Office to give its corporate clients advice on how to avoid tax: Polling by the Australia Institute shows that four-in-five Australians (79 per cent) want consulting firm PwC banned from receiving new government work, including nearly half who back a permanent ban, according to new research from the Australia Institute.

Just 2 per cent did not think PwC should be banned from government work, while 19 per cent did not know or were not sure, according to the nationally representative sample of 1002 people between 6th and 9th June 2023.

Of those surveyed, 45 per cent thought the ban should be permanent while the remainder backed PwC being banned for at least some period of time, either less than two years (5 per cent), between two and five years (12 per cent), or between five and 10 years (16 per cent).

“There is overwhelming public support for PwC to face serious consequences for its gross breach of integrity and trust,” said Bill Browne, Director of the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program.

“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,” said Browne.

A permanent ban on PwC receiving government work was the single most popular response across all voting intentions.

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