Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Transcript of doorstop interview: Sydney: 25 October 2012: mining tax; Business Tax Working Group,

Download PDFDownload PDF








Just when you thought you have heard it all! I’ve heard of schools with no pupils, I've heard of hospitals with no patients, but I've never heard of a tax with no revenue. But this Government has done it.

Julia Gillard made it her signature commitment when she became Prime Minister after knifing Kevin Rudd that there were three things she was going to fix. Number one, she was going to get rid of an Emissions Trading Scheme, yet she introduced a carbon tax. Number two, she was going to stop the boats and in fact the boats have kept coming, and number three, she was going to sort out the mining tax.

Well, Julia Gillard has sorted out the mining tax. There is no money. Now all of the initiatives that the Government said the mining tax was going to pay for, the school kids bonus, regional infrastructure fund, taking superannuation from 9 to 12% - it is now all in the hands of the Government. And, ultimately, consumers are going to pay.

Everyday Australians are going to have to pay for this policy incompetence from the Gillard Government and Julia Gillard personally - there's no-one (else) to blame here - Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan sat down and personally negotiated the structure of the mining tax with the mining industry leaving Treasury outside.

The second thing which needs to be noted - the absolute deceit of the Government in bringing forward the mid-year economic update to Monday - the very same day that the receipts of the revenue of the mining tax were being lodged with the Tax Office. The Government knew nothing was coming in and therefore they still pretended to have a $2 billion receipt in the mining tax this year.

This Government is incompetence writ large.


The third key factor, overnight the business community gave up on business tax reform, they walked away from the table after the Government on Monday announced new tax initiatives for business that had never been contemplated - not by the Henry Tax Review, not by the Business Tax Working Group, not in a business tax summit. This Government is making it up as it goes along. Australians are going to pay a heavy price, a multibillion dollar price for the direct incompetence, sheer incompetence of Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan.

No more excuses - they designed all of this, they negotiated all of this, it has flown back in their faces and the guy with the big smile on his face today is Kevin Rudd.


The Government stands by its $2 billion figure and Simon Crean says that the initial months weren't expected to be bringing in all the money in the first place.


The mining tax is based on assessment of an annual remittance that is broken down to quarterly payments. So, obviously Simon Crean doesn't understand the Government's own tax.


Part of his explanation is that the mining companies are making these tax deductible infrastructure investments. Does that stand up?


Yes, because that is exactly what the design was. That is what the Government negotiated - the mining companies would have their current assets valued at market - at a top rate - and then they'd be able to take it away from the gross revenue. That is why, that's how they

designed it. The Government designed it to work this way. Now, the Government is making flimsy excuses, the grand mining tax is a failure. And it was directly designed by Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan.


But if those deductions are being made now, doesn't it stand up that you wouldn't expect to have much revenue first up but it will come later?


No, it doesn't work like that - and it is years. Look, the tax has failed. I have never heard of a tax that doesn't raise a dollar. Even the most incompetent governments anywhere in the world would not introduce a tax that raises no money. But this is a new benchmark in public policy.

And the benchmark set by the Gillard Government is it's going to introduce taxes that have no revenue, just like you have hospitals with no patients and schools with no students. This is



like a bad episode of 'Yes Prime Minister' the problem is it's not a comedy, it's a documentary in Canberra at the moment.


In terms of timing, the Government hasn't given much justification for the timing of its economic forecast especially vis-a-vis the mining tax payment. If the Coalition were in Government, would you set and guarantee a deadline for when you would be doing your Budget updates?


Yes. Yes.


The Government says it is still on track to deliver a surplus.


The surplus is gone. Stop the charade, the surplus is gone. There is no surplus and the fact that they're playing games with the numbers and deceiving the Australian people about the mining tax proves, yet again, this Government is just in the business of root and branch lying to the Australian people. Their incompetence is only matched by their inability to tell the

truth. Thanks.