Anti tax ad campaign restarts

Mining industry groups have launched a new ad campaign arguing that the mining industry ''pays its fair share of tax''.

The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has today taken out full page ads in newspapers stating that since 2000 mining company taxes and royalties paid have totaled $130 billion.

The ads, which feature in The Australian Financial Review and The Australian, argue the Australian mining industry will become uncompetitive if taxes are raised.

''The new Minerals Resource Rent Tax must be kept in perspective . . . Enough is enough in relation to the obsession with increasing taxes on mining in Australia.''

The ads are in response to calls for the Federal Government to change the design of the mining tax including increasing the tax rate to 40%, cutting Commonwealth refunds of state royalty increases and including other minerals as part of the tax.

In a statement released this week MCA chief Mitch Hooke warned upping the tax could hurt the mining industry.

“Full crediting of royalties is a key feature of the MRRT's design, one that ensures double taxation is avoided and that delivers a measure of stability and predictability to the overall tax burden on coal and iron ore projects, which are already at the upper end of global mining tax rates,” Hooke said.

“We should be looking at how we can be internationally competitive for investment and jobs for the benefit of Australians today and future generations rather than how we can keep carving up the pie.”

When the MRRT was reworked in 2010 following the axing of Kevin Rudd, the government agreed that all state royalties rises would be footed by the commonwealth.

This led to states governments upping royalty rates in the knowledge that the Federal Government, not the mining companies, would pay.

Gillard has cited the recent review of the GST that found the trouble over the mining tax and royalty rates was "unsustainable and undesirable".

A spokesman for the Treasury has said that while the loopholes in the tax were being discussed with the states governments, there were no immediate plans to change the tax.

Last year the MCA launched ad campaigns ahead of the mining tax to stop its expansion.

In April the MCA took out full page ads warning that the mining industry is "not a bottomless pit".

According to the ad "Australian mining already pays 500% more taxes and royalties than 10 years ago and will soon have to pay the new mining and carbon taxes as well.

While the ad acknowledges the need for the industry to "pay fair and equitable royalties and taxes," it warns that "there is a point where the rush to increase taxes, royalties and charges risks making Australian mining weaker, less competitive and less able to make the important contribution everyone wants for the long term".

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