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End nigh for mining tax

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The Abbott government is preparing to put the mining tax on the scrap heap as its repeal bill passed the lower house for a second time.

The government rammed its bill through on Thursday, limiting debate to under two hours.

The bill is now ready for a fresh Senate on July 1, where it’s likely to pass with crossbench support.

The Senate rejected the same bill in March.

The coalition says the mining tax has failed to do its job, raising only $340 million since its introduction.

Its repeal is set to return $12.6 billion to the budget by June 2017.

The opposition labelled the repeal as an attack on working Australians because it would lead to the axing of several measures it was supposed to fund.

They include the schoolkids bonus and superannuation guarantee rate rises.

Parliamentary secretary to the minister for finance Michael McCormack said the tax undermined confidence in Australia as an investment destination and its reputation as resource supplier.

Labor took aim, questioning how the government could claim the mining tax raised too much and yet too little revenue at the same time.

“If it doesn’t raise enough money, then how does it damage the mining industry,” shadow treasurer Chris Bowen asked.

Labor MP Alannah MacTiernan used the debate to clarify her position on the tax, claiming to have been “grossly verballed” by the coalition.

Despite her earlier comments, the tax did not have a negative impact on her home state of Western Australia, she insisted.

But Ms MacTiernan was still disappointed that Labor failed to “get it right”.

The Minerals Resource Rent Tax Repeal And Other Measures Bill 2013 [No. 2] is expected to pass the upper house with the support of the Palmer United Party and other crossbenchers.

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