Miners counting on tax to stand

Concerns have been raised over the future of the mining tax as a hung parliament may force Labor to make deals on the tax rate.

A number of miners have put forward their belief that Julia Gillard will stick to her mining tax promise, despite Labor’s deal with the Greens.
This comes after concerns were raised that Labor may renege on its deal in order to gain greater support from the Greens and independent Tasmanian minister Andrew Wilkie.
While the current Government agreed to set the tax rate at 30%, elements within the Greens have pushed for it to be raised to 50%.
Miners such as Rio Tinto Iron Ore head Sam Walsh were assured that the deal struck will Gillard will stand.
"It would surprise me very greatly if the deal that was done was actually changed down the track," Walsh said.
"As the Prime Minister has said, she will put the legislation to the house on the basis of the agreement that was made.
“I accept her word on that."
Mining industry body, the Minerals Council of Australia, also expected that the agreed upon rates in the Mineral Resources Rent Tax would stand.
However, Wilkie has called for further talks on the proposed MRRT, while fellow independent Rob Oakeshott has met with Fortescue Metals chief Andrew Forrest, the two agreeing on a plan to hold a taxation summit.
Oakeshott explained that while he supported an increase on mining taxes, the Government’s implementation has been left wanting.
Commenting on the Henry Tax review recommendations, Oakeshott said “shifting from state-based royalties to a resource rent tax is quite a sensible recommendation; and while other disagree I think everyone is on a common page that if we’re serious about tax reform, let’s have a big, open discussion.”
"Government hasn’t really responded to the recommendations in that report at length and in full, and they should."
Forrest agreed with Oakeshott’s view on the process of various mining taxes implementation.
"There simply wasn’t open, full and transparent discussion on the future of tax reform in Australia; certainly not as it applied to the resources sector which, if you like, was more of a surprise attack on May 3," he said.

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