Western Australian Senator Scott Ludlam today used the inquiry into the mining super profits tax in Perth to scrutinise the failure of the major parties to make the mining boom deliver benefits for the majority of Australians.
"Let's get one thing straight - these mineral resources belong to the Australian public, yet the companies that plunder them pay an average of 13.9 per cent company tax* and are 80 per cent foreign owned.* 80 per cent of the shareholders of the major mining companies operating in Australia are not Australians, so who is benefitting from these publicly-owned resources?
"The mining boom is shovelling vast profits out of the country. While the mining sector accounts for one fifth of company profits it only pays one tenth of the company tax take.* The original Ken Henry super profits mining tax could have harnessed the boom to deliver a sovereign wealth fund and much needed infrastructure and services for the Australian people. Instead, Labor's watered-down version has barely scratched the surface of the mountain of profits, while the Coalition would have had no super profits tax whatsoever.
"Even Barnaby Joyce had the wherewithal to point out that Labor's version of the mining tax was written by the bosses of the major mining companies - which in addition to concisely summing up the situation also illustrates the hypocrisy of the Coalition, who have attacked Labor for a weak mining tax while advocating no mining tax.
"This milquetoast debacle has collected $126 million - but that is $126 million more than the Coalition would have secured from the multi-billion dollar mining empires. Both major parties have failed to make this once in a lifetime mineral commodities boom work to the benefit of the majority of Australians."
The Greens' Minority report on the MRRT: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate_Committees?url=economics_ctte/completed_inquiries/2010-13/mrrt_bill_2011/report/d02.htm
* Mining The Truth - Australia Institute, September 2011.
* Statement on Monetary Policy, November 2011.
* Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson, March 2012 - http://www.treasury.gov.au/PublicationsAndMedia/Speeches/2012/Introducto...