Bob Brown calls for gold to be added to mining tax

Australian Greens leader Bob Brown has called for gold to be included in the Mineral Resources Rent Tax, saying it would add more than a billion dollars to government revenues over the next decade.

Currently iron ore and coal are the only minerals that come under the mining tax.

It comes after research released today shows that by adding gold, it would generate an additional $1.8 billion for the nation.

"Reflecting Australia’s status as the world’s second-largest producer of gold after China, if the original mining tax not been abandoned in 2010, gold would have contributed even more,” Brown said.

He went on to say that there is “no theoretical justification for gold’s exclusion from the MRRT

Gold prices have been steadily increasing, and show little sign of abating any time soon, with market analysts stating that it is a solid growth rather than a price bubble.

Combining ABARES forecast gold export volumes and a gold price of about $1500 per ounce, gold exports will reach around $17 of the value of combined iron ore and coal exports.

Brown went on to state that if the original RSPT had not been abandoned in 2010, gold would have contributed even more than the MRRT estimates – about $3.5 billion over the forward period and $8,2 billion over the next yen years.

These comments follow on the Greens call for a tougher mining tax.

Under Labor’s current plan revenue from the 30 per cent minerals resource rent tax will fund a reduction in company tax from 30 per cent to 29 per cent, as well as an increase in compulsory superannuation contributions and infrastructure spending.

But Greens leader Bob Brown said keeping the company tax rate at 30 per cent would free up $2 billion for small businesses.

“While still advocating a return to the Treasury recommended super profits tax to give Australians a fairer return on their mineral wealth, and setting aside proceeds in a sovereign wealth fund for major projects such as high-speed rail, the Greens recommend adding gold as a first step,” he said.

 “Adding gold – another resource where extraction is dominated by foreign-owned companies – would unlock $1.8 billion over 10 years that could go towards funding smaller-scale projects.

 

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