Government to hit miners with third tax: Opposition

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Opposition resources spokesperson Ian Macfarlane says the Gillard Government is planning on cutting the diesel fuel rebate for mining companies in the May budget.

According to AAP Macfarlane said there were strong indications the cut would go ahead, which would add yet another hit to miners on top of the carbon and mining taxes.

"We understand in the budget week they will apply a tax to diesel fuel used off-road for the first time ever in Australia," he told AAP.

Macfarlane said the cut would cost mining companies billions, but Government officials said they would not comment on pre-budget speculation.

The Greens have already said publicly that the mining industry should lose the fuel rebate.

They said it was unfair regular Australians paid 38 cents a litre tax but profitable companies did not.

According to the Financial Review Greens deputy leader Christine Milne said cutting the diesel fuel rebate for miners was an "excellent place to start" if the Government wanted to save money.

In a statement today Minerals Council chief executive Mitch Hooke said reducing the rebate would "violate every principle of sound tax policy".

"Like all tax hikes it would result in lost output and reduced international competitiveness," he said.

"It would also be the fourth new tax on mining this year."

Image: Econews

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