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Wednesday, 3 September 2014
Page: 6363

Senator FIERRAVANTI-WELLS (New South WalesParliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services) (15:07): I would remind Senator Ludwig that the dodgy deal was done in the shadow of the 2010 election by Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan, when they designed one of the worst taxes in Australia's history. What sort of a tax raises no revenue? At the end of the day, nobody paid the mining tax. I would remind those opposite that we were told that in year one the mining tax would raise $4 billion. The pre-payments raised $200 million—95 per cent less than Wayne Swan told us it would raise—and that now has to be refunded because of the dodgy deal that Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan did in the shadow of the 2010 election. This was a terrible tax. It was bad for us internationally in terms of attracting investment into Australia and it was also bad for us in terms of costing us jobs.

Can I remind those opposite that it is understandable that Senator Wong and her colleagues are now upset and it is understandable that they are angry. However, Senator Wong, whilst ever you sit there in denial about what happened at the last federal election you will continue to put yourself outside the process. You have become irrelevant. That is why the deal was done yesterday. Is it perfect? No, it is not. But, in the end, when you deal yourself out of the process, Senator Wong, there is no point coming in here and shouting across the chamber at us, venting your frustration. It is your job as the opposition to be a constructive alternative, but you have chosen to forfeit that role.

The government has delivered on two key commitments: we have repealed both the carbon tax and the mining tax. I would remind those opposite that we took this to both the 2010 election and the 2013 election. Along with scrapping the failed mining tax, we are also abolishing or rephasing all the unfunded promises that you irresponsibly and recklessly attached to this tax. Indeed, this was a tax that was so poorly designed that it was, in fact, costing us billions of dollars each year. Had the mining tax not been abolished it was expected to raise $668 million in total over the forward estimates, compared to the $3.3 billion in revenue that you continued to claim as part of your so-called budget savings strategy. But, despite all of this, you actually locked in more than $17 billion of spending over the forward estimates.

When you look at the number of taxpayers who are actually contributing to the mining tax, fewer than 20 miners have contributed to the net $340 million raised by the mining tax to date. Further, 125 other miners had been required to submit the mining tax instalment notices even though they were not making net payments. So here you have fewer than 20 paying the tax and 125 required to comply with the paperwork for this tax.

The mining repeal tax package will deliver a significant improvement to the budget of around $10 billion over the current forward estimates and it will remain budget neutral over the medium term.