Swann slammed over shortfall

  • Written by 
  • Thursday, 14 February 2013 10:05
(1 Vote)

Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has been roasted by fellow politicians over the paltry amount of revenue the mining tax has gathered in its first six months.

Mr Swan revealed on Friday the Federal Government’s controversial tax had raised $126 million in its first six months. The figure is alarmingly low considering the government had budgeted for the tax to raise at least $2 billion in the 2012/13 financial year.

Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey stuck the boot into his counterpart, going as far as calling him “the most incompetent Treasurer in Australian history”, and suggesting he resign from his post.

He described the mining tax as “the tax that has caused so much pain and hardly raises a dollar." "If Wayne Swan had any self-respect his would resign. He is totally incompetent.”

“The Government has proven that it is unable to deliver a plan. The Government has no economic plan. It certainly has no fiscal plan and it has no taxation plan.”

Greens leader Christine Milne said the mining tax revenue was "shockingly low", declaring “miners once again had a big win” based on the figures.

Fellow Greens MP Adam Bandt called for an urgent re-design of the tax, in order to avoid cuts to other sectors to fill the black holes. “Labor’s mining tax is a dud,” he declared.

Independent MP Rob Oakeshott supported the Greens’ calls for rapid change, saying it is “completely outrageous that we've found ourselves in this situation.” "The Parliament is there, and I think majority is on side, in doing what needs to be done to fix some of these loopholes and to turn this into a tax that is working in the national interest rather than against it."

Former Prime Minster and now Labor backbencher Kevin Rudd said responsibility for the structure of the mining tax should lie firmly with Mr Swan and Prime Minister Julia Gillard. “"In terms of any future changes to the tax ... that really is a matter for the Prime Minister and for the treasurer to consider and I will leave it with them,” he said.

Senior Labor ministers declared today they have no plans to redesign the tax. However, they are seeking to do a mining royalties deal with State Governments in an effort to fill the tax’s black hole.

"There are no plans to change the design of the tax," Trade Minister Craig Emerson said. "But in the area of royalties, it is already publicly known that we're in discussion with the states."

After announcing the tiny profit on Friday, Mr Swan admitted it was ''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''.

''Revenues across the board are down very substantially - MRRT is a profits-based tax that raises more revenue when profits are higher and less when they are lower.''



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