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Don't slug single parents - make mining giants pay their share

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Christine Milne

Adam Bandt

media release

Thursday 25 October 2012

Don’t slug single parents - make mining giants pay their share

Having moved amendments, motions and bills to fix the poorly designed Mining Tax, the Greens will raise with the Prime Minister the urgent need to fix the tax and plug the growing revenue hole that is seeing single parents, job-seekers and researchers go without.

“You have to ask what is ‘Labor’ about allowing multi-billion dollar mining companies to avoid paying their fair share while slugging single parents, refusing to lift the appallingly low Newstart allowance and cutting funding for research and training,” Australian Greens Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.

“I will personally ask the Prime Minister to intervene and fix this tax, because Australia can’t afford to keep destroying our precious environment and making it more difficult for people across the country to find jobs and live decent lives.

“Mr Swan’s talk of shifting GST or infrastructure payments to states which gouge royalties is complex and unwieldy and never likely to happen. He should work with the Greens instead to plug the loophole and raise the revenue we need to invest in lifting Newstart by $50 a week, setting up fully publicly-funded Denticare and properly funding our schools.”

Australian Greens Deputy Leader Adam Bandt says the Greens have warned the government every step of the way that the mining tax was inadequate.

Speaking outside the hearing into his bill to reform Enterprise Migration Agreements, Mr Bandt said the Greens were still ready to work with the government on plugging the holes in the mining tax.

“Today’s reports confirm what the Greens have been saying for the last two years - that Labor’s mining tax was full of holes,” Mr Bandt said.

“We have a structural revenue problem in this country. The government now needs to work with the Greens to plug the holes in the mining tax before Parliament rises.

“The mining boom is a once-in-a-generation opportunity that is being squandered by the government.

“The Greens warned the government in March this year that “it has become increasingly apparent that the MRRT not only foregoes much of the revenue the RSPT would have raised, but that design flaws may mean that it will not cover the cost of government programmes intended to be funded from it.”

“We also warned that “if the starting base is calculated on the current high commodity prices, and the commodity prices then fall, the depreciation on the starting base may wipe out any tax liability.”

Christine Milne

Adam Bandt

media release

“The original mining tax was predicted to raise over $100 billion and $9 billion in its first year. Now we are looking at a tax that will raise close to nothing.”

“The government is crying poor and cutting single parents’ pensions, while the big miners get off scott free.”

“The Greens’ bill currently before the Senate would mean the mining giants would not be able use royalty increases to avoid paying this tax.”

Contact Alexandra Lamb on 0437 587 562; Damien Lawson on 0487 900 005