Australia: Opposition's support for mining tax igniting fresh uncertainty – Amec
14 March 2014
Posted by: Author: Esmarie Swanepoel
Author: Esmarie Swanepoel
The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (Amec) on Friday warned that the Labor Party’s commitment to the minerals resource rent tax (MRRT) could ignite new uncertainty in the resources industry.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten and opposition treasurer Chris Bowen have both said that the Labor Party would continue to oppose the Australian government’s repeal of the MRRT in the Senate.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott introduced legislation to abolish the much-contested MRRT in December, in the hopes of having the tax repealed by July this year.
"Comments from opposition treasury spokesman Bowen in the media, committing to continue to pursue the principle of a tax on minerals in the ground, have reignited uncertainty in the mining and mineral exploration industry,” said Amec CEO Simon Bennison.
"Amec has consistently stated that the MRRT is a poorly designed, discriminatory and a refutably bad tax.
"It is clearly not collecting the revenue the design of the tax initially intended. It has imposed significant compliance costs on business and has caused considerable damage to investor confidence in Australia.”
Bennison noted that Shorten and Bowen have conceded that there were mistakes in the creation of the mining tax and as a result it had only raised a fraction of the revenue forecast.
"Revenue projections for the MRRT have been revised down on numerous occasions since its announcement in 2010.
"The lack of investor confidence in the Australian minerals industry is highlighted by the fact that 67% of funds raised on the ASX in 2013 were for offshore projects,” he added.
"The mining and mineral exploration industry is hurting with low commodity prices and investor uncertainty.
"The MRRT must be repealed in full to restore international competitiveness, to support the future of the industry and government revenue streams for the benefit of all Australians,” said Bennison.
This article first appeared miningweekly.com.