Thursday, 20 December 2012 14:27
The Federal Government needs to take on big business and fix the mining tax if it wants to achieve its budget surplus, the Greens have said.
Company tax payments to the Federal Government are lower than expected, reflecting commodity price falls and weakness in the global economy, according to the finance department's latest monthly statement released on Thursday.
The main factor was company tax revenue, which was impacted by profit declines.
Australian Greens acting leader Adam Bandt (picture) said the mining tax had only brought in $1.1 billion over a third of the way through the financial year.
"The government was expecting to raise over $7 billion from these weakened taxes. At this rate, they'll be lucky to collect even half of that," he told reporters in Melbourne.
"It's now as plain as the nose on your face that unless the government is prepared to take on big business and fix the mining tax, the only way they'll be able to achieve their early political budget surplus is by taking the axe to spending and that will hurt people, small business and the economy."
The government wants to deliver a surplus of $1.1 billion for 2012/13.
But Mr Bandt said it seems only the government and Tony Abbott are insisting the government stick to its timetable of reaching an early surplus.
"Everyone else, from economists to the welfare sector and including the Greens are saying we should defer the return to surplus so it would not put unnecessary pressure on people, on the economy and on small business," he said.
"Achieving an early political budget surplus is now a fool's errand."
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