Tuesday, 2 September 2014
Questions without Notice
The Senate today voted to help build a stronger economy, a more prosperous economy and to create more jobs. This is a good day for Australia because the ill-thought out mining tax, introduced through a bad process by the previous government, was always a bad tax. It was a tax that inappropriately targeted an important industry for Australia—the mining industry.
A strong mining industry is important for Australia because it will help us be the strongest economy that we can be. It will help us to continue to attract additional investment and generate additional jobs. The mining tax was not only a policy failure because it was complex, distorting, inefficient, costly to comply with and costly to administer; it was also a tax that did not raise any revenue. It was a tax that we were told would raise $ 4 billion in year 1, but the $200 million it raised is progressively being repaid. We are already behind. We are behind when it comes to the money that the mining tax has raised—after administration costs there is nothing left. The previous government attached to this tax all sorts of unfunded spending promises and unfunded budget measures with an increasing cost over time.
Today the Senate, by voting to repeal the mining tax as amended by the Senate, has helped us to build a stronger economy and create more jobs, and it has also helped to repair the budget mess that the previous Labor government left behind. Not only did the previous Labor government come up with a tax that did not raise any revenue—like the pub without beer, we have the mining tax without money—this is also the government that, before it had raised a single dime, had already spent it all and more. Today what the Senate has done is to ensure that we can put the budget on a more sustainable footing for the future. The agreement that was reached and the consensus that was reached with the majority of senators is good news for Australia. (Time expired)