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Australian opposition would reinstate mining tax

17 March 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Mary Swire
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Author: Mary Swire (Tax-News)

Labor leader Bill Shorten has said that his party continues to support the principle of a resources-based rent tax, and is willing to enter into a dialogue with the mining sector on the issue.

Speaking on Sky's PM Agenda, the leader of the Australian opposition claimed that the principle behind the minerals resource rent tax (MRRT) is solid. He guaranteed that in the run up to the next general election – the date for which has not been set – his party will actively engage with the resources sector.

Shorten said: "Labor's already put down some early markers by indicating our interest and support for stimulating research and development, for value-adding what mining does, and working with our strong resources sector to ensure that young people are attracted to the mining sector."

He did not however state outright that a Labor Government would seek to reinstate the mining tax, were the current Liberal-led Coalition Government to succeed in its planned repeal. Instead, Shorten hedged that Australians "want to see positive policies from both Labor and Liberal, and they certainly want to see policies which reflect consultation and dialogue, not just someone decreeing that they know best."

Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann has accused Shorten of trying to "shift the goal posts on what type of mining tax Labor wants," arguing that "he is just not sure what form any new Labor mining tax will take."

Cormann said: "After six months in Opposition and just weeks before the Western Australia Senate election, Labor is not just opposing the abolition of the mining tax, but it is creating confusion by saying Labor would create a new version of the tax to take to the next election."

"Labor saddled us with a mining tax that raises a fraction of what was promised, yet burdens businesses with millions of dollars of red tape as well as costing jobs and driving away investment," he continued.

Western Australians will take to the polls on April 5 in a re-run of September's Senate election, after the High Court declared the results from September's general election void. The Government has been pushing its anti-carbon and -mining tax agenda as part of its campaign, describing both as "anti-Western Australia" policies.

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