30/07/2010 - 12:02

"Foolhardy" not to scrap MRRT: Moore

30/07/2010 - 12:02

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Mines Minister Norman Moore says the minerals resource rent tax should be scrapped on the basis of Senate Select Committee findings that WA jobs and the economy would be threatened by the proposed tax.

"Foolhardy" not to scrap MRRT: Moore

Mines Minister Norman Moore says the minerals resource rent tax should be scrapped on the basis of Senate Select Committee findings that WA jobs and the economy would be threatened by the proposed tax.

Mr Moore said it would be foolhardy for the Gillard government to ignore the Senate Committee findings.

The Select Committee on Energy and Fuel, which was chaired by WA Liberal senator Mathias Cormann, handed down its second interim report today.

"There is no way you can tax an industry an extra $10.5billion without a flow-on effect on business confidence, investment decisions and willingness to proceed with long-term development plans, and ultimately jobs and the economy," Mr Moore said.

The Senate Committee concurred with WA Treasury estimates that $7 billion of the expected $10.5 billion to be raised by the MRRT will come from WA.

"WA and, to a lesser extent, Queensland are seen by some in the Federal Government to be politically expedient cash cows - a source of billions in extra revenue that can be used to prop up non-competitive industries and attract votes in the Eastern States," said Mr Moore.

"You simply cannot do this and expect the pain will not be felt somewhere. But it appears from Ms Gillard's position that if the pain is felt in WA then it doesn't matter."

Mr Moore said while the tax had been modified since its first incarnation under Kevin Rudd, opposition in WA would continue if the Federal Government refused to scrap the policy.

The Committee said it has serious concerns "that the government still refuses to release basic
information on the design and implications of the tax."

It made 11 recommendations, including recommending that the in the event that the MRRT/expanded PRRT is not scrapped, magnetite be excluded from the ambit of the new/revised
mining tax arrangements.

Mr Moore said he was concerned about the Labor-Greens preference deal.

"The details of that deal are not public and so there is little information on what the Greens negotiated as the price of directing preferences to Labor at the August 21 poll.

"I would imagine it quite plausible the Greens may insist on an even more onerous tax for the resource sector given Bob Brown did not think Kevin Rudd's original proposal extracted enough tax from miners."

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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