Man in Street Says Tax Me, Not Miners

Karl FitzgeraldHot Issues1 Comment

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With this weeks poll showing that many Australians were undecided on the Super Profits Resource Tax, they are effectively saying ‘please sir, tax me’. ‘No I wouldn’t think of ensuring that the privileged pay their fair share, please I emplore you – tax me!’.

With 20 leading economists coming out in favour of the tax (thxs John Quiggan), the muted response by the Australian public really does warrant an education program.

Ross Gittins is on the front foot (watch video in 2nd link above) with the call that what mining supremos like Tom Albanese are really fearing is the global trend this could trigger. They fear the Brazil’s, China’s and South Africa’s following suit. With the Henry Review targeting the pot of gold at the end of every privatisation rainbow – economic rent in land, in minerals, in taxi licenses, in pokie licenses, the business elite are throwing everything they can against this government.

Read some of our responses to this debate and FIRE up – we need you on the comments pages of the Murdoch press:
RPSTing Australians and their Mineral Resources – Bryan Kavanagh’s new piece in Online Opinion
Levelling the Playing Field

With Australia’s reputation as an economic fighting machine in having avoided the worst of the GFC (really?), Wayne Swan’s upcoming visit to the G20 will be a revealing affair.

Will the world’s leaders give support to Swan when the finances of so many countries are decrepit because of their outdated tax system in an age of tax havens and resource scarcity?

This Swan tour to China & the Korean G20 meet will be one the government is hoping will elicit support for the move to untax enterpreneurship and capture some of the naturally increasing scarcity rents that accrue to natural resources and natural monopolies.

In another piece of mining fearmongering, the head of Australia’s largest goldminer, Ian Smith of Newcrest said that the SPRT is ‘a tax on our grandchildren’ (AFR 0306, p5). This is outrageous when considering that he is proposing a lower a tax on NET PROFITS. He is effectively saying tax the working classes more so that we miners can remove these non renewable resources and profit from them at great extent. What will be left for the grandchildren Ian?

For mining to slow down a little would be a good thing, especially with China’s shaky economic outlook.

The mining elite’s hired gun – Opposition leader Tony Abbot – said recently that the SPRT will increase the price of food. The SPRT cannot be passed on because miners in other countries have different cost structures. Competitors can undercut any price that Australian based mining companies offer.

The only place this additional SPRT tax can come from is by taking some of the profits from magnates (like the 2nd richest man in Oz Andrew Twiggy Forrest) and giving them to the government.

Who would want to grow up to be a doctor when so many are making a killing from simply digging up the earth?

We must re-balance the playing field.

One Comment on “Man in Street Says Tax Me, Not Miners”

  1. As a little ‘g’ green I oppose the RSPT!

    In 4 Corners tonight lots of economists supported the RSPT, including Allan Fels. For me, Fels’ comment were the most telling.

    PROF. ALLEN FELS: This is a much better way of taxing them than the present system of royalties which deters production. This only imposes a tax after a business has covered its costs and is making a super profit. So it makes more sense than any other way of taxing the resources in our ground.

    Fels is an economist, and like most economist he misses the limit from growth arguments. They and the governments they advise are pro-growthers!

    This is a much better way of taxing them than the present system of royalties which deters production. Detered production is a good thing. The RSPT encourages marginal production (more hole in the ground), thus I’m against it!

    There are really two question here.

    How do we tax resouses?

    How much do we tax?

    I think we stay with royalties, over the RSPT.

    The government is trying to get a pro-growth RSPT through under the guise of raising the amount of taxation!

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