Mining tax to deliver $500bn boost, Ferguson says

 The Mineral Resources Rent Tax will provide $500 billion to Australian by 2035, resources minister Martin Ferguson has said.

His statements come as legislation for the tax is being finalised for its introduction into parliament.

According to Ferguson, the MRRT will "lock in the benefits of the mining boom for all Australians and help tackle the challenges posed by our patchwork economy, where different sectors are growing at different speeds and many small businesses are doing it tough".

Revenues generated by the tax will be ploughed into superannuation, used for a cut in the company tax, and go to towards funding infrastructure.

"This major boost for workers, small businesses and infrastructure is opposed by Mr Abbott and the Coalition who insist that the benefits of the mining boom should not be spread to all Australians," Ferguson stated.

"The mining industry is a key part of Australia’s strong economy and continues to power ahead in full knowledge of the MRRT. Earnings from energy and mineral exports set a new record of $175 billion in 2010-11, increasing 27 per cent from a year earlier.

"The $430 billion pipeline of resource and energy projects either underway or on the drawing boards shows that this strong performance is set to continue as companies invest in growing the industry even further."

However, the tax has seen a stumbling block as it fails to garner full support from independent MPs.

MP Tony Windsor says he will only support the Government’s mining tax if there are tougher rules for coal seam gas projects on farmland.

Windsor put his demands to Treasury officials yesterday with the backing of fellow independent Rob Oakeshott.

“I have given them an ultimatum that I won’t support the MRRT without greater restrictions on coal seam gas and assessment of farmland."

The Government needs the support of the independents to pass the bill, which is expected to be introduced to parliament over the next few days. 


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