Australia should secure its future with a fair dinkum mining tax, Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.
"Treasurer Wayne Swan is right. Australia's fair go is under threat," Senator Brown said in Hobart.
"Australia can fund its education needs - including the $5 billion proposed by the Gonski review, health services, public transport, a national dental program and high speed rail. There is an additional $100 billion available over the next 10 years if we implement the original super-profits tax," Senator Brown said.
"As Mr Swan says, ‘deep pockets, conservative political support, biased editorial policy and shock-jock ranting has been mobilised in an attempt to protect vested interest'. The full-page ads running in the nation's newspapers show why the big mining companies should not have their company taxes cut from 30% to 29%.
"Today Mr Swan rejected calculations of the difference in revenue between the MRRT and original RSPT. He should release Treasury calculations on the foregone revenue, based on the same assumptions about the exchange rate, commodity prices and volumes. The rate has dropped from 40% to 22.5% and many minerals have been excluded, so let the taxpayers have the information.
"We think small businesses, which employ half the workforce, not the big banks and the big mining corporations, should be getting the proposed tax break. This will keep billions of dollars in Australia which might otherwise go as profits offshore.
"As well as dropping the corporate tax cut for big business, the proposed mining tax needs to be amended to include gold and uranium, if not all minerals, and the daft plan to refund royalties should be dropped," Senator Brown said.