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Government giving away billions with compromised mining tax: Greens

Australian Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown today released a report that confirms the compromise reached between the Government and the three biggest mining companies will see everyday Australians forgo tens of billions of dollars in revenue.

"The Mineral Resource Rent Tax will generate between $73 billion and $115 billion less revenue over 9 years than the original Resources Super Profits Tax recommended by Treasury", said Senator Brown.

“This research reveals that that is a real danger that the mining Tax as currently designed will raise very little net revenue. Between 47% and 100% of the revenue could be consumed by the cut in company tax.

“This would be a perverse outcome at time when the mining industry is already putting huge strain on rest of the economy.

"This is wealth that belongs to all Australians, but thanks to the three richest mining companies, $100 billion will no longer be invested in public infrastructure such as high-speed rail, schools, hospitals and other vital public services to benefit Australians and will instead flow to overseas investors as extra profit."

 “Australia needs a new economic approach, one that truly addresses the two speed economy.  The Government should consider reviving the mining tax and dropping the company tax cuts for the largest companies, while keeping it for small business,” said Senator Brown.

The key changes between the RSPT and MMRT identified in the report include:

  • Lowering the rate from 40% to an effective rate of 22.5%;
  • Decreasing the number of companies required to pay the tax from an estimated 2,500 to around 320 by excluding companies with profits below $50m;
  • Limiting the tax to iron ore and coal rather than the range of minerals that are mined in Australia for significant profit; and
  • Creating more opportunities for tax minimisation in the structure of the tax, including further accelerated depreciation of new investments.

Despite the flaws in the MRRT, Tony Abbott’s plan is worse - no mining tax at all.

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