The federal government has completely ruled out introducing its own version of the mining tax and remains focused on abolishing Labor’s.
The Australian Financial Review has reported “numerous coalition figures have been privately conceding for some time they will have to revisit” the issue of how resources should be taxed in the future.
But Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann insist it’s not even a remote possibility.
“No”, Mr Hockey told reporters in Perth on Friday.
“We are the party that is absolutely and totally committed to scrapping the mining tax,” Mr Cormann added.
He described Labor’s minerals resource rent tax on the super profits of coal and iron ore producers as an example of the “incompetence” of former treasurer Wayne Swan because the little it raised was being refunded “because on reflection, it turns out that the mining companies that paid initially didn’t have to pay what they thought”.
“That was one of the real Wayne Swan incompetence specials.
“Who can come up with a tax that leaves the budget worse off?”
Mr Cormann and Mr Hockey called on Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to cease opposing the government’s push to abolish the tax, saying Labor had only two sitting weeks left of parliament before the winter break to come up with better budget ideas than the coalition.
“If they have better ideas, they can put them on the table,” Mr Hockey said.