RSPT lite brewing

It turns out that labouring in the wilderness may not be fruitless after all. The AFR this morning reports that the government is looking at some new tax initiatives aimed at addressing Dutch disease:

Treasurer Wayne Swan is facing another battle with the mining industry as the government considers scrapping lucrative tax benefits to fund a multibillion-dollar tax break to help struggling small businesses.

The measures, expected to be included in the May budget, would cap interest claims by multinationals, and curb depreciation benefits for explorers, and the oil and gas industries.

Mr Swan’s business tax working group is expected to tell the government to limit debt deductions for ­foreign companies to pay for changes to help businesses, in particular ­manufacturers, which are struggling with the two-speed economy and high dollar. The changes would allow a loss-making small businesses to get a tax refund against a past year’s profit.

Under the current law, companies must wait until they make a profit in the future before they can deduct a previous year’s tax loss.

The recommendations from the working group will provide Mr Swan with the framework for the next tranche of business tax reform arising from the 2009 Henry tax review.

It also delivers a way of funding tax breaks for small business in the May budget.

The government’s most urgent priority is to help small businesses struggling with the two-speed economy. One option is through a new carryback tax loss scheme to be funded by changes to the so-called “thin capitalisation” rules. These rules are arguably more generous than in other countries and allow some multinationals to heavily gear their Australian arms, effectively shifting profits overseas.

So, we now know where the recent rhetoric aimed at the billionaires is headed in a policy sense. It seems Swan learned his lesson of softening up the population before aiming for national interest policy that will compromise powerful interests. And the government’s process is different and better on another front too, this time consulting up front:

It is understood the working group has been canvassing the ideas in meetings with industry sectors and business groups where there have been fears the proposed tax changes would be seen as another attack on the resources sector and a disincentive to foreign businesses to invest in Australia.

The working group held meetings in Brisbane yesterday; next week it will talk with interested parties in Sydney and Melbourne.

Still, there are already concerns that the timetable is too short:

Institute of Chartered Accountants general manager of leadership Yasser El-Ansary said it was vital the government took its time in considering the recommendations of the business tax working group, and not rush reforms to meet the May budget timetable.

“I have some real concerns about the process through which these potential reform have been considered,” Mr El-Ansary said.

Maybe so in policy terms, but as a political tool this looks like a winner. It’s a very different political economy now that Dutch disease is a widespread phenomenon, with real consequences for an increasing number of people.

Jessica Irvine also has a ball tearer this morning (though it’s  bit loaded with populist rhetoric).

Comments

  1. It’s a very different political economy now that Dutch disease is a widespread phenomenon with real consequences for an increasing number of people.

    You’ve hit the nail on the head there, H & H. There is an awareness of the situation that wasn’t there 18 months ago. Although I doubt there’s a lot the ‘official family’ can do. The high dollar is the problem and they can’t massively manipulate it. At the same time, if you drive out mining investment you will have a lot of people in the hot states flooding back into the cold states. It would be a different story if Australia was the only supplier. The government is trapped. The country is trapped. There is no solution.

    • “The high dollar is the problem and they can’t massively manipulate it.”

      No the powers that be just don’t want to massively manipulate it due to their misguided belief in free market economics (when other countries clearly don’t play by the same rulebook).

      The Government could easily change the RBA’s legislative charter to make it crystal clear to the board that it is to act to weaken an overvalued dollar (my personal opinion is that the current charter already obliges them to act but that’s open to question).

      The current charter can be found here by the way:

      http://www.rba.gov.au/about-rba/our-role.html

      The Swiss central bank’s actions show that a fiat currency issuing central bank has extraordinary power to weaken an overvalued currency. Sterilisation to avoid inflation from the expansion of the money supply is also less difficult than often imagined (introduction of reserve ratios, reverse repo operations etc.)

  2. I am amazed by how easily the Coalition has been able to push back on this particular issue to avoid being wedged. A flurry of confected outrage in sympathetic media outlets about the assault on the virtues of enterprise and wealth creation, the ratcheting up of the “you’re nothing without us” sentiment from the resources sector, and suddenly Swan is public enemy number one. Nevermind that the Coalition will be faced with the same economic reality and will just as surely blink at the politically unpalatable path of letting small business and dollar effected industries wither in the atomic heat of the mining industry’s extended summer holiday. Rinehart’s move on Fairfax is looking very astute in light of the ideological battle ahead.

  3. > Rinehart’s move on Fairfax is looking very astute in light of the ideological battle ahead.

    She hasn’t acquired any control over editorial policy.

    • Ha !
      Yes, she just woke up one morning apropos of nothing in particular and thought to herself – ‘My investments are just not diversified enough. What I need is a stake in any old low profit, low growth company’.

          • Yes, why buy into ‘old’ media when you can just set up an economics blog. Pass that onto Lord Monkton next time you’re in the same room.

          • He is a very interesting fellow, full of ideas. Rather energising.

            Don’t let your paranoia engulf you! We are still in a pre-Finkelstein world, make the most of it. Relish the liberty. 🙂

          • Yes, Monkton has all the energy and entertainment value of a circus clown. Bit of a furphy there about the Finkelstein review as an assault on our liberties, but consistent at least.

            You are seriously kidding yourself if you think the media, even the fading Fairfax rags, are not in a position to shape public debate.

        • Sherlock – her increased stake is barely a month old. Her seat on the Board is still being prepared.

          That is a nice line about providing evidence on the influence of editorial policy – that’s been the News Ltd line for decades now. Never fails to crack me up. Have a read of Bruce Guthrie’s book on the reality of how policy is influenced in a newspaper. If you don’t think media proprietors seek to influence the editorial line of their outlets then you have been blessed with a greater serving of faith than most.

          • No, it’s very simple. Can you point to a writer who has recently changed his/her views? Can you refer to a new journalist who has been hired to express a different point of view? Until that occurs, she has not succeeded. I don’t say her intentions are pure. I say they won’t eventuate. Fairfax is an aging, fading, demoralised company with a collapsing profit. Five years from now, Fairfax might not even exist. It’s a silly investment decision, not an astute one.

          • > So you’ve giving her five weeks to succeed, and declared the venture a failure ?

            Report back to us in five months or five years and tell us how she has succeeded. She won’t. And if the housing bubble bursts and we enter a recession — and their advertising revenues dry up — Fairfax will land in the hands of its bankers. It’s that vulnerable.

      • How effective will it be sb? [Tacit in my query is agreement on your interpretation]

        The punters are very cynical, and MSM almost irrelevant.

        Whatever. She can afford it huh?

    • General Disarray

      “She hasn’t acquired any control over editorial policy.”

      Give it time Sherlock.

  4. Now if we can apply this to housing investment, we can really get this negative gearing party started.

    • Nice parting shot on JI’s part. It’s a good thing she’s got her blog to fall back on.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        She’s had a few of these lately. I even saw her having a shot at the housing sector one day.

        Had to check I hadn’t slipped through the time-space continuum into bizarro world.

          • A few days ago Lorax referred to MB as an anti-mining site. I too may have to pinch myself – he is looking prescient indeed…

          • What if you’re both wrong?
            I’m not anti-mining, because:
            a. I’m not an idiot – you need mining extraction as a basic necessity of a modern economy, without resource extraction, there is no economy
            b. mining helps drive the more profitable and (more importantly) robust sectors like manufacturing
            c. from mining comes a skill base that can be used in other advanced areas of the economy thus diversifying employment opportunities and abilities

            What its about is being anti-risk: the widespread failure of business, politics, economics and households in managing the risk inherent in concentrating your economy into 2 sectors: houses and holes.

          • I find her writing strangely compelling – it often contains overly simplified arguments but she isn’t afraid to discuss the issues that many commentators avoid (or take the opposite position from what they write).

          • Prince. Excellent. I agree with all you say above. I tend not to see that view well represented here at MB, for whatever reason.

            It may be that in an effort to alert to the ‘risks’ the balance tips away from what remains two of the crucial elements of the Australian economy. We are at ‘risk’ up to our eyeballs in that respect – but better to encourage discussion and policy toward a gentle unwind rather than outright demolition.

            You see the comments here. You see the politics of division at play, even at this level. Mining Bogan makes a terrific point re the level of vicious vitriol in the discussion around the resources sector. I think MB is well placed to play more of a balancing role in this regard. Present the argument from all sides – more of the type of comments you make above, more of how to integrate the very real benefit of a vibrant resources sector (and housing construction for that matter) into a robust economy for all.

            The vitriol simply pushes parties apart, each receding to their own ideological hole.

            Why JI might even start macrobating that!

    • I saw her as a guest on The Drum (ABC 24) on the weekend. She looked better in the studio than she does in her promo photos.

      She seemed very calm in her discussion and gave off the sense she does know what she is talking about, not she spurting forward researched informarion but not getting it.

      TP: come on RP, keep it tidy.

  5. Nor a basic understanding of the Constitution and the position of the States in minerals ownership.

    Her next article no doubt Nationalise Our Mining Sector. Followed by Give Sydney Back to Traditional Owners…if you’re going to take the argument down that path. FFS.

    • Now tell me honestly, 3d –

      You have a 13% stake in that company, with the very real ability to ratchet it up. You are jawboning for a seat on the Board. You just coincidentally happen to have generated great wealth from the resource sector. A prominent columnist has taken it upon herself to set public opinion against the resource sector.

      What do you do ?

      (Apply that advanced imagination of yours, channel my preternatural cynicism, and workshop some likely scenarios).

      • To be brutally honest Spleen, I have thought JI a very ordinary journalist at best. She appears much admired by the editorial here at MB, largely I suspect because the parrots the MB editorial line.

        No originality. No great shakes.

        In her dreams she might score a number at AFR. Not likely though, AFR appears on the up and up and I reckon Stutchbury is discerning enough to recognise fluff.

        • I agree that JI is a bit light, but you have dodged my real question !

          What do you honestly think GR is going to do in this scenario ?

          • I don’t know that GR will ‘do’ anything.

            If it were me, I would shift JIs column: page 2 bottom right alongside prominent advertising; or to pages post editorial pre death notices; would request fewer words and give opportunity to develop succinct concise thought. If ‘improvement’ occurs might move column to page 12. I am not ruthless!

          • Unless there is a shared view of ‘succinct concise thought’, then I think JI, looking to maintain her position at Fairax, could consider herself has having been influenced under that scenario.

            If GR does not want to do anything, then why has she made this investment ? She is surely more astute than that.

          • An aside: “Unless there is a shared view of ‘succinct concise thought’” extend that thought to the Finkelstein media recommendations. Who is the final arbiter? Why? Are these criteria universals?

          • Finkelstein has over-reached and that should ensure the recommendations will never be implemented as conceived.

            Some criteria will surely find a consensus (i.e. thou shalt not illegally tap the phone of citizens and pay police officers for information on crime victims). As for balancing out certain press freedoms against meaningful regulation, that is a poser. Hopefully we do not pursue la methode Chinoise, but the current self-regulatory scheme is a joke.

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      “Nor a basic understanding of the Constitution and the position of the States in minerals ownership.”

      I don’t think many do. I know I don’t. My only knowledge of the constitution comes from courtroom scene in The Castle. I miss Bud Tingwell.

      Anyhow, I digress. That is what bugs me about these debates. There is so much violent rhetoric from both sides that the truth eventually disappears up a unicorn’s arse.

      Someone should just tell me how it works without an ulterior motive in mind.

      • The ‘violent rhetoric’ is exactly what has bothered me. I don’t understand the vehemence, vitriol and character assassination directed to the resources sector.

        Australia has always had a mining sector. Largely ignored until recent times, going about its business – not singled out and castigated as the cause of ALL economic woes of the nation. It’s occasionally flamboyant operators perhaps subject to gentle humour, not publicly eviscerated as now.

        It disgusts me and is a poor reflection on the level of serious discussion in this country when attack, vicious and nasty attack is the first and only weapon – and in the case of this debate it is almost solely directed from one side toward the resources sector. Swan has revealed it for what it is. Us v them. Will we never move beyond?

        • >Swan has revealed it for what it is. Us v them. Will we never move beyond?

          I think you’ll find that he is attempting to hide the fact that he doesn’t understand what is actually happenning within his portfolio.

          You are correct to point this out however, abuse is the usual form of first attack from someone who doesn’t understand the topic at hand.

          As I have discussed in response to some of your previous comments, the failure to capture the wealth of the mining boom by Australia is , in a large part, due to its obsession with housing based credit expansion. This is a failing of the government to steer the local economy towards productive investments.

          Although I do believe the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of mining companies in regards to profits from resources, it appears to me that Mr Swan response is due, in most part, to the failure of that ‘wealth capture’.

          In my mind the best outcome would be for productive engagement between the mining industry and the government to determine exactly what they can do for each other.

          But to do that the government would actually require a plan, which requires a strategy, which takes vision , which means we’re all probably stuffed.

        • 3d1k, let me try to explain why I feel negatively towards the mining sector. It may give you some insight into the reasons for the emotions that seem to surround this topic.
          1. It seems to have sucked the brains out of the Australian populace. “She’ll be right. We’ve got mining and China.” The country is piling on risk, as has been amply demonstrated in MB, but the general populace (and even the quite intelligent among them – not just the “bogans”) seem to think the reverse is happening. This is distressing because I see it bringing out the very worst tendencies in our national character – intellectual laziness, complacency, misplaced self-satisfaction and a sense of entitlement. (Personally, I witnessed something similar happening in Ireland in 2000-2005, but that time around I was one of the ignorant masses.) I feel a vague sense of doom when I see this taking hold.

          2. The mining industry’s (possibly unintended) defenestration of a popularly elected PM has cast a sinister shadow over the entire industry. This, coupled with GR’s push into Fairfax and Channel 10 gives rise to concern about the industry obtaining a level of extra-political popular influence that is a threat to the democratic norms of Australia. The political class (eg. world’s best treasurer) naturally sees this as a threat. But so do a lot of other people. I am very worried about a “new normal” developing in Australian public life – the kind that appears to have taken hold in the US via Fox. Personally, this is even more concerning to me than point 1 above, because once the new normal takes hold it is able to self-legitimise so it can’t really be reversed.

          For me, these are real fears that hit me on an emotional level. The first because I despair at my compatriots selling themselves (and the nation) so short; the second because it really is a kind of existential struggle for balance in the public narrative that has very profound and irreversible consequences.

          I’m not sure if fellow MB readers with an anti-mining slant feel the same as me. But in my case, these are emotional hot buttons which make it difficult to conduct a very rational discussion on this topic for an extended period!

  6. > As a media expert, I’m here to tell you your argument is naive.

    I don’t say her intentions are pure. Nor were Conrad Black’s. She won’t be any more successful at it than he was — if the company is even still around in a few years.

    • GR has deeper pockets than Conrad Black ever did. And if you were around at the time, you would have surely deduced that those editors and journalists exiting the doors of The Age perhaps had something to do with Black’s political motives.

      • What is about GRs motivation, if any, that frightens you? Surely we are all grown-ups capable of independent thought.

        • You really believe that our country consists entirely of grown-up adults capable of independent thought???

        • Come on 3d, you don’t need to be that disingenous. If people really are impervious to the messages they are subjected to via the media – and for most those messages do still predominantly come from MSM – then advertisers have been pouring billions of dollars a year down the toilet, the public relations and marketing professions are redundant, and Rupert Murdoch may as well divest his media interests and set up a wordpress blog to wield political influence.

          • I am not saying all of the above don’t have influence. They do.

            Just one influence among a myriad of influences. They are not coercive.

          • 3d
            If I didn’t think you were mostly just playing out a role here, I would be inclined to go the full Chomsky on you, and berate you for such an incredibly jejune conception of power relations.

        • “Surely we are all grown-ups capable of independent thought.”

          Now that is truly naive !

          Most people don’t have the time or the inclination to determine fact from opinion on most subjects. They trust their media source to do that for them.
          And they pick that media source to confirm their personal bias …

          • And so what? It is(was) a free country!

            People can use whatever source they like to determine their views, even the comments thread at ZH if that is their bent.

            “And they pick that media source to confirm their personal bias ”

            Certainly see a lot of that here at MB.

          • well, I suspect I am one of those that chose MB because it satisfies my personal bias. 🙂

            That being that I prefer the clear display of data, and how it is analysed to reach a conclusion. I don’t get all the trading stuff, which is less clear, but most of the housing discussion atleast revolves around the housing/finance data.

        • drsmithyMEMBER

          Surely we are all grown-ups capable of independent thought.

          “Independent thought” isn’t much help if all you’re getting to apply it to is misinformation

          • You assume total absence of the ability to discern. Regardless, liberty of thought remains one of the few genuine liberties.

      • GR has deeper pockets than Conrad Black ever did.

        Yes she does. But Black had more media experience. Black failed and Gina will fail too.

        those editors and journalists exiting the doors of The Age perhaps had something to do with Black’s political motives.

        Of course they did. That was the whole point. But ultimately he was unsuccessful. He admitted as much. It’s very difficult to bring about cultural change inside an old company where employees are set in their ways. I don’t suggest Gina’s motives are pure. I suggest she lacks the aptitude to get the broadsheets dancing to her style of music. It won’t happen.

        • So you do agree that a new proprietor’s political interests will influence the editorial/journalistic makeup ? Not sure then why you were intially trying to argue otherwise.

          GR’s intentions are crystal clear. The financial success of the paper is a secondary concern.

          • > GR’s intentions are crystal clear.

            Intentions and outcomes are two different things. That was my point, perhaps poorly articulated. She has bought into a company in terminal decline and smarter people before her — such as Conrad Black — have failed. So I guess what I’m trying to say is: don’t lose any sleep over this.

      • The idea that Gina will have a significant influence on editorial policy suggests that the status quo is an anti-mining stance, and that you are quite happy with that.

        So why isnt there any jawboning about current editorial policy and interests?

        Similarly the apparent threat to the ALP from Gina. Does this mean that the ALP perceives current Fairfax editorial to be kind to them? And what does that say about the independence of media as it currently stands?

        IMO any view that there is currently editorial neutrality is naive at best, and the screaming and shouting about Gina is very telling.

        • Nope, I’m not anti-mining, nor do I think Fairfax fundamentally holds such an unbalanced editorial line vis mining (the occasional JI piece aside). If you have discerned an overall Labor bias in Fairfax, then we must have been reading different papers the past few years. They certainly didn’t hold back on their campaign against NSW Labor.

          Back to my original point, there is an ideological battle heating up as it relates to legislation affecting the resources sector, which will require a more concerted effort on the front of influencing public opinion. GR knows it (hence her purchase of media interests), 3d1k knows it (hence his omnipresence here), and Labor knows it.

  7. Politicians like Swan certainly pour over the broadsheet content.
    To that extent, MSM has an influence on public policy greater than its actual relevance to the man in the street.

  8. Personally, I am not so worried about GR per se, but rather the concentration of ownership that continues to be the case in not just journalism but businesses more generally. It seems fine to me that people make a profit out of mining, they do take great risks. On the other hand, it is within the power of government to levy taxes, on individuals and companies. Where the problem comes I find is that the lobby power of the powerful, such as GR, through their companies, is disproportionate to how much they really contribute to the country. Especially as much of the lobbying goes towards reducing the amount they contribute. Adding the newspaper side of things to her empire will increase her lobby power further. It is not as bad as in the US, but seems to be heading that way a bit, which I do not feel is a good path.

    • +1 Blake

      The “vitriole” is there as a reaction to the influence the miners have had on a basic function of government. Taxation.

      I can’t change my tax situation why should they?

      An overlooked issue in the mining debate is that fact that it’s very easy to mine here. Stable government, rule of law, well trained, well behaved workforce. Who pays for all that? All of us, miners included, but probably not as much as they should.

      • Just a quick reminder: the initial RSPT was near appropriation, poorly designed and deeply flawed. It is record commodity prices that has drawn attention to mining, if commodity prices were lower, nobody would be singing the ‘selling off OUR resources song’ and miners would be doing just what they have always done. Business as usual and no-one the least interested in the pie. Money tends to a catch the eye.

      • Just to be clear, I don’t single out the miners for having an influence on taxation. Certainly the money spent opposing the mining tax was the best investment they have made in a while, but they are not the only ones. We were all relatively happy to receive the stimulus bonuses and tax cuts at the elections. And we did change our tax situation by voting in large part for the party which gave the tax breaks.

        I agree with 3d1k money does tend to catch the eye. I just somewhat deplore at just how much our current mindset revolves around money.

    • Blake, I wouldn’t worry too much. The loosely aligned soft left influences have had control of Fairfax for years and overseen the demise of what was once one of the great papers of the nation, The Age. Nobody complained too much (apart from those that appreciated quality journalism).

      As the discussion here the other day demonstrated, special interest groups are the economy. All pushing their particular barrow, looking for taxpayer largesse, the more powerful getting it (think banks, property, housing, automotive, large manufacturers, education and health). This is now how modern economies function.

      To feign shock and horror is naive – we all know, we are not immune from special interests as individuals either (tax breaks, middle class welfare etc).

      There is even the chance that if GR had any influence at all, it would prove beneficial, shaking up lazy spiel, giving readers of Fairfax the occasional opportunity to hear an alternate view. I don’t know, not an impossible outcome. A weekly Andrew Bolt column is not likely to be too arduous! (see the Bunyipitude link above).

      • Yes I agree in that regard to some extent. The reverse arguement is the control of the Labor Parties by the Unions. Perhaps it is being naive, or perhaps thinking a bit wishfully, but it would be nice if everyone wasn’t so self interested, the wealthy or the unions.

        Personally I think most of the system is stuffed, but at the same time I’m not really sure what you could do differently. Evident in the current situation is the capture of the parlimentary process in favour of on group against the other, lurching back and forth somewhat. But this really isn’t ideal, a more stable middle ground would be better. Of course that will never occur, since there is no incentive to compromise, given a middle party or one of your particular leaning, you will vote for the one of your leaning. This means the compromise party that everyone would be okay with never gets the primary votes and eliminated, even if it would be in most people’s (not the extremists but a large majority) top 3.

      • No, I think the growth of internet classified & property advertising, the fragmentation of readers by niche websites, and the cannibalisation from their own websites has probably contributed more to Fairfax’s demise than those ‘soft left’ influences. The loss of readership has been pretty uniform for most newspapers, anyway, for those same reasons – News Ltd papers have experienced the same decline without the influence of the ‘soft lefties’. I disagree with the characterisation of Fairfax papers not offering alternative views. Hard to see how Andrew Bolt is not guilty of lazy spiel himself. Is lazy spiel from the right any better than lazy spiel from the left ? If GR could bring George Megalogenis over to Fairfax, then she might have some credibility.

        • Bolt was just a useful example from Professor Bunyip’s post. Seems to really rile the sensitive.

          But interesting to note that should GR appoint of journalist that has YOUR seal of approval, she will regain credibility.

          All based on what YOU approve of…

          • You’re overacting your part 3d. I only mentioned megalogenis as an example of a non-partisan columnist.

          • Overreacting? No. It sounded like you were saying if GR appointed GM, from your perspective her credibility would be improved. Still sounds like that.

          • If the nub of the issue is whether or not Rinehart intends to create a partisan voice for her political interests, then of course the appointment of a Megalogenis would be more credible than a Bolt (as an example).

            Do you really credit Bolt as a measured, non-partisan analyst and observer ?

          • The nub of the issue remains that it doesn’t matter!

            What you allow as credible and non-partisan, another may well disagree.

            If Bolt was appointed, you (and others) may choose not to read Fairfax, GRs supposed influence lost to a particular audience. Bolt may attract a new audience hitherto lost to Fairfax, GRs supposed influence gained. Not one of these ‘readers’ are coerced to take up any views presented.

            No problem exists. Enjoy the diversity!

  9. Good strategy by the government. I think they have been preparing this for sometime. Some lobby groups such as the BCA and AIg will be co-opted. The miner lobby is divided between the big multinationals and the local robber barons.

      • Then, can you explain the stony silence maintained by the MCA on Swanny’s essay?

        Also, the government is actively trying to get other lobby groups on their side – BCA withthe COAG deregulation gig and AiG with appoint of Heather Ridout and others to the RBA board.

  10. A few snippets from Jess Irvine’s piece to make you blood boil…

    Australian Treasury estimates prepared for the Henry tax review found mineral taxes and royalties declined as a share of total mineral profits from about 40 per cent in 2001-02 to less than 15 per cent in 2008-09.

    budget estimates released in December show the new minerals resources rent tax will add just $3.7 billion to the budget bottom line next year.

    Martin Parkinson, revealed that while mining companies generate about one fifth of profits in Australia, they contribute only one tenth of company tax

    Knock yourself out MineBot. Defend the indefensible!

    • Given the obvious lack of priority the government has given to the Henry Tax Review, which now sits collecting dust, in the depths of the archives in some unnamed government building – we can assume they are not too concerned with your first point.

      Second point – sounds optimistic.

      Third point, and yeah, so what. These companies operate within the framework of Australian corporate and taxation law. They pay all taxes due. It is irrelevant that some may make a healthy proportion of their profits in Australia yet only contribute 10% of Australian company tax revenues, there are many companies in Australia other than mining – there is confusion in JIs argument here. And as with all anti-resources campaigners, JI appears to neglect the massive capital intensive investment undertaken by these resources companies and associated risk. JI should be pleased that at some time in the future, if commodity prices remain stable to high, resources companies under the MMRT legislation will pay even higher taxes.

      Another problem solved. 🙂 Pack a picnic, bottle of wine and go watch the sun set over Newcastle harbour, pretty as it is at night with the luminous glow of trade ships on the horizon…

  11. Within this decade we may be facing way lower profits from mining as commodity prices return to long term averages.
    Wayne and Penny need to hurry up and start lowering the national debt while the land of plenty still exists.
    Initiatives that raise taxes rather than cut the size of Government is a hopeless plan for Australia’s long term future.
    Oh and be nice to Gina !