Palmer presents major roadblock to MRRT repeal

Opposition to the mining tax repeal has come from the most unlikely of places: Mining magnate Clive Palmer.

Opposition to the mining tax repeal has come from the most unlikely of places: Mining magnate Clive Palmer.

The main stumbling block to passing the tax repeal through the Senate comes down to a matter of $260,000, and if agreement cannot be reached, it may mean forcing the federal parliament into a double dissolution election.

The money in question is a welfare payment given to the children of Australian war veterans who were killed or injured in the line of duty.

The benefit was started solely as a bonus to be paid from proceeds of the Mineral Resource Rent Tax (MRRT), to help with unanticipated education expenses.

The payments per child are around $13,000 per year.

On Monday Abbott said in parliament, “We were up front with people before the election that this particular benefit would be removed, because it was a benefit that was supposed to be paid for by the mining tax.”

This morning on ABC Breakfast, Barry Cassidy commented that despite such a small amount of money, prime minister Tony Abbott may not back down to Palmer due to his very principled conviction to “do what he says he’s going to do.”

“We cannot go on being generous with borrowed money, and this is the problem. This Leader of the Opposition is trying to embarrass the government because the government is keeping its commitments,” he said.

In an interview with Radio National, Mr Palmer described his position as a matter of principle, and said that most Australians would support the payments being retained.

“If they want to persecute children, people who have died for Australia, that's a higher principle than any sort of financial matter,” he said.

“I think we've all got a responsibility as Australians to support those children whose fathers and mothers have given their life for the country.

“We support the abolition of the mining tax, I've been the biggest opponent of the mining tax all my life but I'm not going to persecute young children because of it.”

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