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Wednesday, 13 February 2013
Page: 1191

Minerals Resource Rent Tax

Mr CIOBO (Moncrieff) (14:32): My question is to the Treasurer. I refer the Treasurer to comments made about the mining tax by the member for Griffith—who is not here; he might be crunching numbers. I quote:

We had reservations about embarking on something so complex but Wayne's view was that without it, his credentials as a reforming treasurer would be shot to pieces.

Given the mining tax has raised just $126 million in its first six months of operation, when will the Treasurer face the fact that all his revised tax has achieved is that his credentials have indeed been shot to pieces? (Time expired)

Mr SWAN (LilleyDeputy Prime Minister and Treasurer) (14:33): I am invited to make a few comments about the economy. I am invited to make a few comments about resource rent taxes. And I am only too pleased to do so.

I would like to say, first of all, that the job creation record of this government over the past five years of 850,000 jobs is unequalled anywhere in the world. One of the reasons we have been able to do that is that this side of the House has had the courage of its convictions to put in place policies which support jobs and growth. The consequence of that has been that we did not go into recession, unlike most other countries in the developed world. Everyone on this side of the House is proud of that record—everybody is proud of it. As we go forward for the next five years, what we need is a range of policies to build future prosperity and to spread opportunity, and part and parcel of that is resource rent taxation—indeed, as it was 25 years ago, with the PRRT, which since that time has raised $28 billion.

It is the case that, in the second half of last year, which coincided with the first two quarters of the MRRT, there was a huge crash in resource prices. The consequence of that has been less revenue. But that does not mean that an MRRT is not important not just for now but for our children and for our grandchildren—it is terribly important, to be part and parcel of a range of revenue streams so we can provide the money for the education and the health care of all of our people. That is why we on this side of the House understand the importance of resource rent taxation: because it gives all Australians a stake in our future prosperity—all Australians.

The opposite opinion is that on the other side of the House. They do not believe that all Australians should have a stake in our prosperity. They do not believe that we should spread opportunity through profit based taxes. All of our profit based taxes—company tax, capital gains tax, superannuation tax, resource rent taxes—have taken a very substantial hit from global volatility at the end of last year. But for the long term this is precisely the reform the country requires to provide the resources for all Australians so they have a stake in our prosperity.

Mr Randall: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order going to relevance. The question was: did the Treasurer agree with the comments of the member for Griffith? He has not answered the question.

The SPEAKER: The member for Canning will resume his seat. The Treasurer has concluded his answer.