Gillard to cut tax rate

In a sign of consensus in the mining tax dispute, Prime Minister Gillard has agreed to cut the proposed rate.
As a deliberate change of pace from the Rudd Government which signaled that the 40% tax rate was “not up for negotiations”, Gillard told the Nine Network that the negotiations with the mining industry will be driven by what is in the best interests of the nation.
"I’m throwing open the door of the Government, if they can open their minds and I think we are well on our way to seeing an opening of the minds, and a respectful genuine negotiation," she said.
Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan commented on this change in pace from the G20 Summit in Canada, saying the Government has “got a fresh start in those discussions and I hope we could conclude them as promptly as possible.”
However, Swan outlined that the mining tax is not a measure to bring the budget back to surplus within the Government’s projected three year deadline.
The tax will be implemented as “the old royalties system didn’t provide that value and nor was it economically efficient,” he added.
Following this, Opposition leader Tony Abbot again called for the complete scrapping of the tax, as “the mining sector is 50 per cent of our export income, without that income the whole economy is in trouble,” he told the ABC.

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