LABOR’S mining tax has reaped only $600,000 in the past three months, new figures reveal, as Joe Hockey increases pressure on Clive Palmer’s senators to pass his repeal plan.
The Palmer United Party’s three senators earlier this month refused to pass the repeal unless the government agreed to preserve Labor’s schoolkids’ bonus, low-income superannuation contribution and income support bonus. Those measures cost the budget around $8 billion.
The Treasurer this morning revealed net revenue from the Mineral Resource Rent Tax was only $600,000 in the June quarter, compared with the already-downgraded $150 million forecast last year.
“We were up front before the Australian people before the election and said we cannot continue to pay for these things out of a tax that raises no money. (It) raises no money and all it does is create sovereign risk for Australia,” Mr Hockey told ABC Radio.
“The PUP was elected on the basis they were going to repeal the mining tax package. We were elected on the basis we were going to repeal the mining tax package. We ask the parliament to respect the mandate we have.
“If we continue to have expenditure funded by the nation’s credit card rather than being funded by the money we earn, then the bottom line is we are going to lose jobs and we are going to have a lesser quality of life in the future.”
Mr Hockey said he was prepared to negotiate with senators if they could find other revenue to pay for their schemes.
Opposition treasury spokesman Chris Bowen said the government should retain Labor’s taxes on multinational companies and superannuation savings, and cracking down on tax evasion.
Mr Hockey also called on Labor to support budget cuts that were flagged by the Rudd and Gillard governments.
Mr Bowen countered that the Labor cuts were linked to particular spending commitments which have also been scrapped.
“Of course if we had a measure funding a particular spending initiative and he scraps it, well that entitles us to question whether that change should be made in the first place. That’s a very legitimate point for us to make,” he told ABC Radio.
Mr Hockey said: “Revenue from the June quarter instalment of the Mining Tax represents just 0.5 per cent of an estimated $150 million for the same quarter forecast back at MYEFO. The June receipt is far less than the Coalition Government’s initial forecast in December.”