Tax miners more, public say

Nearly half of West Australians believe miners should pay more tax, a recent poll has revealed.

The poll on attitudes to the mining industry, called the David Utting Communications/ UMR Australian Mining Monitor, found that they feel that State royalties and the Mineral Resources Rent Tax should be increased, according to The West.

However, it also found that there is a wide acceptance that mining is essential to Australia, especially iron ore and coal mining, which received a national support rate of 85%, as compared to only 74% for gold.

A high 93% believed that the industry makes an important contribution to the economy, the Age reported.

The small poll of 1000 comes as the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies starts its convention today in Perth.

The mining tax and state royalties have come under increased scrutiny in Western Australia, following premier Colin Barnett’s announcement that it will lift the royalty rate for iron ore fines, while at the same time slamming the MRRT, labelling it “the worst piece of public policy” he has seen in two decades.

According to the UMR poll, 41% of people polled nationally said miners paid too little in taxes, with only 7% stating that they paid too much.

In Western Australia, a lower 36% said that miners did not pay enough in taxes, with 37% stating that it was an adequate amount and a much higher 12% saying that miners paid more than enough.

Of those polled nationally, just half thought that miners were good corporate citizens.