The Abbott government’s latest attempt to scrap the mining tax appears doomed with Clive Palmer declaring his senators will vote it down without changes.
Labor also fears the government has included a measure in a new repeal bill that could limit increases to compulsory superannuation contributions by employers out to 2034.
The government amid confusion and heated Labor indignation used its numbers in parliament’s lower house on Monday to rush through its repeal legislation.
It laid aside the original repeal bill, which the Senate previously had amended heavily, and replaced it with new legislation initially described as relating to tax, superannuation, social security and family assistance.
Essentially, it was a bill that repealed the “failed” mining tax, plus a range of associated measures including the low-income superannuation contribution (saving $3.6 billion), the income support bonus ($1.3 billion) and the schoolkids bonus ($4.7 billion).
Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer was dismissive of the government move.
“Ill-conceived mining tax repeal bill wont pass Senate without low income super contribution, income support bonus & the schoolkids bonus,” he tweeted.
The government needs the support of PUP and other crossbenchers to have its bill clear the Senate against opposition from Labor and the Greens.
Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen accused the government of trying to remove parliament’s ability to decide the rate of the superannuation compulsory guarantee, giving all the authority to the treasurer to determine any changes.
“This is outrageous,” he told reporters in Canberra.
It would allow the government to delay further increases, pushing out Labor’s desired target of 12 per cent rate to as far as 2034.
“That is completely unacceptable and the Labor party of course will oppose that all the way,” Mr Bowen said.
The rate is now 9.5 per cent, but the government wants the treasurer to have the power to pause further increases.