Swan reveals meagre MRRT revenue PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 08 February 2013 12:47

The federal government has revealed its mining tax raised $126 million in its first six months of operation.

The minerals resource rent tax (MRRT) was forecast to raise $2 billion over the entire 2012/13 financial year.

"It's clear revenues from resource rent taxes have taken a massive hit from the impact of continued global instability, commodity price volatility and a high dollar," Treasurer Wayne Swan said in a statement on this afternoon.

In response to Treasurer Swan's revelation, independent MP Rob Oakeshott said the federal government needed to reopen talks with the states and crossbench MPs and amend its mining tax legislation.

"What the figure reveals, now clearly shows to all, is there is unfinished business and there are some structural issues that need to be addressed," Mr Oakeshott said.

"The parliament, the government and the broader community needs to have the bottle to fix it."

The NSW MP also said he would support a Greens private member's bill, due to go before parliament on Monday, to overturn the tax deductibility of state mining royalties.

But Mr Oakeshott said while the Greens' bill had merit, it would be better if the government resolved issues with the tax by negotiation.

"There is some urgency about delivering on the very point of the exercise and moving from a bad state tax to a good and sensible national tax," he said.

"If they are serious about the rhetoric of spreading the benefits of the boom, well, there is not much spreading going on in the current figures."

He said while the MRRT revenue figure was low, he did not believe there was any risk to programs funded by the tax.

Mr Oakeshott said he would discuss the tax with Mr Swan at his regular briefing next week.

Fellow independent MP Tony Windsor declined to comment in detail, telling AAP, "I am pleased to see that the figure has been released."

The Australian Greens have also voiced their concerns and said the federal government's mining tax should be amended to ensure it raises more revenue.

Greens Senator Richard Di Natale said the $126 million result was "hugely disappointing", adding Labor should back the minor party's planned amendments to the impost on the mining super profits of coal and iron ore producers.

"It's a long way short of the government's projections and many billions of dollars short of the original Treasury-backed mining tax," he told Sky News.

"How are we going to pay for the things that we need in this country?"

Senator Di Natale said the low revenue was the result of a watering down of the original resources tax proposed by former prime minister Kevin Rudd.

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