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Feb 12, 2013

Labor spins its wheels on the mining tax

Both sides are stuck with an expensive superannuation policy that will cost billions in future years, regardless of what happens with the mining tax.


When Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan walked into the main committee room in Parliament House on July, 2010 to announce the new mining tax deal hammered out with the world’s biggest mining companies, they may have thought they were finally free of the issue that had helped destroyed Kevin Rudd’s prime ministership.

“We’ve been stuck on this question as a nation for too long,” the newly minted Prime Minister said at the time. “Today we’re moving forward together …”

Two and a half years on, the government is still stuck on the question, considering changes to the tax it managed to get through the House of Representatives at the end of 2011 in a triumphal end-of-year session that yielded Peter Slipper’s ill-fated speakership as well.

On current form, the MRRT will raise barely enough revenue to cover the $240 million cost of the first year of the increase in compulsory superannuation in 2013-14, let alone the $500 million the following year or the billions a year it will gradually cost via concessional taxation, never mind the other expenditure attached to the mining tax.

That’s not an immediate problem for the government, given attention in the May budget will be on 2013-14, but it’s a poor fit with the Prime Minister’s commitment the other week to find “structural savings” to offset the long-term cost of NDIS and Gonski reforms: in effect, it still has some catching up to do on the MRRT before it can start from scratch with finding cuts for disability services and education.

Kevin Rudd sniping today about the tax — making the high-minded suggestion that “history will be the judge” as to whether Gillard and Swan gave too much away to the big miners — only serves to draw attention to its troubled gestation, including Rudd’s own wretched handling of the Henry Tax Review.

Labor’s problem, though, is relatively simple compared to the tangled knot the Coalition has wrapped itself into. Labor’s tax doesn’t raise enough money. The Coalition simultaneously decries the tax for not raising enough money, and for being damaging to the mining industry, and promises repeal, but remains — despite a stumble by Joe Hockey on Friday — committed to the compulsory superannuation increase it funds. So it too has the $240 million, then the $500 million, then the billions rolling off into the outyears on its books, and even less money to offset it than Labor.

“This is pretty immature stuff, heavily influenced by the way we assume fiscal rectitude is the be-all and end-all of economic management …”

How the Coalition will deal with this won’t be explained until some days before the election. Yesterday Joe Hockey used a statement of the bleeding obvious by Phil Bowen, the head of the Parliamentary Budget Office about PEFO, to justify delaying the release of the Opposition’s policy costings until after the release of the Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Outlook. The most accurate costings would be done after the release of PEFO, Bowen told Estimates. That, plainly, doesn’t stop the Coalition from releasing individually costed policies or savings measures. The only thing it stops is an Opposition forecast of what its likely deficit or surplus will be — and even then the only discrepancy will be the difference between the budget forecast in May and the PEFO forecast in mid-August.

Still, all this is a straw man. Joe Hockey correctly pointed this out this morning, saying “we will do what Labor and every other Opposition has done. That is, release policies even well before the election.” That’s not strictly accurate — Hockey and Andrew Robb put out their deeply flawed costings virtually on election eve in 2010. But oppositions, no matter what their stripe, are not in the habit of exposing their fully costed policies to enemy fire until as late as possible. In effect, Hockey is admitting that political reality, and not PEFO, is the reason why there’ll be no costed policies until the election campaign. But Labor did precisely the same thing under Peter Costello’s Charter of Budget Honesty charade.

This is pretty immature stuff, heavily influenced by the way we assume fiscal rectitude is the be-all and end-all of economic management, with even minor deviations or errors blown up into evidence of ineptitude or worse. The faux-scrutiny of “gotcha” moments in election campaigns thereby prevents genuine, nuanced scrutiny that takes into account the broader economic and fiscal context.

In Labor’s case, though, the ongoing problem of the MRRT is a difficulty entirely of its own creation. The government hasn’t “moved forward” at all from that cold Friday morning in 2010 when it thought it had put its mining tax troubles behind it.



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57 thoughts on “Labor spins its wheels on the mining tax

  1. Jimmy

    “The Coalition simultaneously decries the tax for not raising enough money, and for being damaging to the mining industry” The question I have is that given the Liberal states have all raised royalties knowing the Federal govt will refund the mining companies what happens when Abbott removes the MRRT and the miners are faced with a less efficient scheme with higher rates than before the MRRT?

    Also given the Iron Ore Price was down to $87 in September and was lower than it it is currently for a significant portion of the December quarter wouldn’t it stand to reason that if prices hold the revenue from the MRRT for the next 6 motnhs would be considerably higher than what it has been, possibly even close to the orginal forecast?

    Also why are we rushing to judgment on this reform, some criticisms have been that the miners have been deprecitaing their investments which has resulted in them not paying the MRRT, well assuming they are using the diminishing value method the benefits of this are fornt ended and will run out long before the minerals do, meaning that in the future lower commodity prices will still see higher MRRT payments.

    On the costing issue this is the pay off for Gillard on setting the date early, journalists are already growing restless of the Libs avoiding releasing their costings, they might of been able to get away with it for 8 weeks but not 8 months, especially when everybody nows the figures can’t add up.

  2. PkD

    Is this an issue of the forecasts supplied by Treasury? Or the interpretation of the supplied forecasts?

    Does Treasury supply one forecast, or do the supply a range of forecasts based on market sensitivity? Don’t most mature gold and oil stocks have a fairly predictable sensitivity to the price of gold, oil and exchange rates?

  3. zut alors

    ‘When Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan walked into the main committee room in Parliament House on July, 2010 to announce the new mining tax deal hammered out with the world’s biggest mining companies…’

    My version: When Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan walked into the main committee room it was patently obvious a couple of guileless sitting ducks had been well and truly done over by the mining industry bullies. I can’t recall two politicians appearing so pleased with themselves having just been outwitted and tightly stitched up by a few businessmen.

  4. Apollo

    Grow some balls and redesign the tax now so they can collect the money next quarter and show the benefit of it to the Australian public.

    They’re having a reputation of beholden to the unions, now they want to have a reputation of beholden to the miners as well. Not representing the interest of the public.

    The piss weak attitude is going to usher Abbott into power with ease. But have no fear, Abbott will bring back the more than the golden years of Howard’s socialism. Pop out a baby and you’ll have enough to deposit for another investment homeloan.

    Our secret scientists have installed great socialist value into Abbott’s brain. He is now considering about following the Republic of China’s economic model to set up special economic zone.

    Ne vous inquiétez pas! La vie est belle, il faut me croire Kameraden.

  5. Jimmy

    Apollo – “Grow some balls and redesign the tax now so they can collect the money next quarter and show the benefit of it to the Australian public.” I have a feeling the Govt are playing a smarter game than that, they delayed the release of the December quarter figures by about a month, which meant that by the time they released them they had 6 weeks of actual commodity prices and only 7 weeks to “project” to estimate what the March quarter will look like.

    I think the reason for the sudden change of heart of about the confidentiality of the tax records was that they have already estimated that the March quarter will see significantly higher revenues from the MRRT. Based on that I think they are trying to “rope a dope” Abbott, let him come throwing haymakers about the lack of revenue this quarter and then step forward next quarter with a couple of smart jabs a drop him with all this extra revenue he plans to give back to the miners.

  6. Apollo

    Jimmy, I’m sure the revenue will be higher, but it won’t be high enough.

    For all the political hit they got from proposing the mining tax, the amount of revenue collect is not worth the effort. K.Henry even wonders why they bother with it. Go bigger and bolder. Gold should have been included in it, not because global instability has push its price up, but the growing demand from Chinese and Indian middle class is tremendous.

  7. Dogs breakfast

    Kevin Rudd can hardly look back and say that histroy will judge. My recollection is that Rudd was on the ropes because he had just abandoned his promises on the carbon tax, he was wandering around in a political funk, unable to do anything apart from announce another enquiry, and in an attempt to look like a man of action, picked a fight with a well organised and funded mining community without having settled on the legislation.

    The effect was that this as much as anything caused him more wobbles, which led to him sending out his chief of staff to ‘sound out’ support, which directly led to the challenge from Gillard.

    If Rudd had managed it correctly from the start he might still be PM. He didn’t, he wobbled, he lost, and Gillard was half obliged to clean up the mess to clear the decks for an election.

    I’m with Zut, when the ‘agreement’ was announced my heart sank. You don’t want multi-billion dollar companies agreeing to your new tax measures, you want them squealing like stuck pigs.

    And they were cheshire cats.

  8. Jimmy

    Apollo – “Jimmy, I’m sure the revenue will be higher, but it won’t be high enough.” What is high enough?

    This is a long term reform and you can argue that they should of included this or that but I wouldn’t be surprised if they get up around the $1b for the year if prices hold which is pretty significant coin, especially considering the massive drop in the September Qtr, As the depreciation unwinds the price required to achieve good revenue comes down.

    The MRRT in it’s current form will generate enough money to raise serious question about how Abbott will replace the revenue.

  9. Apollo

    Jimmy, $1 billion is below $2 billion at mid year forecast, and $3 billion in May budget. It should at least come close to the $2 billion midyear forecast. I’d prefered the tax to raise at least $5 billions to spread the benefit for all Australians.

  10. Dogs breakfast

    Considering that the design of the tax allowed them to offset any changes to the states royalties, you would fairly include that value in the overall tax take as well. I suspect that it will get closer to $1b for the year if iron ore prices hold, and more if you count the extra royalty money to the states.

    The royalty side of the tax was, if I recall correctly, part of the original design from the Henry review, but it never made sense to me. It was always an invitation for the states to increase their royalties, which should be tied in any case to the final price rather than just being given away, as they have been since the first fleet.

  11. Jimmy

    Apollo – “Jimmy, $1 billion is below $2 billion at mid year forecast, and $3 billion in May budget.” Yes that is what happens when you have a profit based tax and the value of what is being sold drops by about 50%.
    And you want it to raise $5b a year in a year where commodity prices plumetted?
    I am not saying it is perfect but it is better than nothing and given the nature of depreciation the early years are going to be it’s lowest as the miners can write off higher amounts.

    Dogs breakfast – The idea behind the royalty idea was so that mining companies aren’t being taxed twice, the concept of the MRRT is to replace inefficient royalties with a more efficient profits based tax. The issue is that states have the right to levy royalties and I don’t think the Fed’s can stop them.

  12. Suzanne Blake

    Labor move from one crisis to another. They won’t do anything to upset the Mining Companies, for fear of a massive campaign during an election year.

    @Jimmy did you see they nabbed a Gillard worker in Parliament yesterday sending fake blog messages supporting Labor? Glad you are still online today.

    You must know them?

  13. Coaltopia

    The real mining tax should’ve funded a sovereign wealth fund – this would’ve helped decouple it from surpluses and current budgets. Hard for us to keep our hands of it though.

  14. Mike Flanagan

    Jimmy, Apollo and others;
    The contradictions and political hysteria from the current poor returns from the MRRT should be compared to the early returns from the PRRT.
    The PRRT was passed in parliament in 1987 or there abouts and the latest tax is very much built on the experiences and figures of the PRRT.
    The early stages of the application of the MRRT will negotiated by Treasury and Tax boffins with tax and finance experts of the payee parties. Interpretation of each and every word of the Act will be strived for, to avoid misunderstandings and legal surprises to the Mining Corporations in the future.
    So, I do think Jimmy is right to hold of on conclusions about either the tax in aggregate, legislation or the competence of the negotiating parties.
    PS I tried to get the annual figures from ABS but unfortunately failed to be able to identify the PRRT taxes contributions to the aggregate budget figures.

  15. Apollo

    Yes I do want $5 billions Jimmy. There’s gold, silver etc to tax. Depreciation should not be at such generous rate and royalty rebates should not be allowed. Third quarter is usually quiet for China and iron ore and coal prices are normally low, someone forgot to tell treasury about that.

  16. Apollo

    Hi Mike. Yes, we’re still in early stage of it. But I prefer to tax more than just iron ore and coal and get about $5 billions not $3 billions which treasury forecast in the May budget.

  17. Jimmy

    Apollo – From memory I think Gold does have it’s own tax treatment but I am happy to be corrected on that.
    And you also have to leave meat on the bone for the explorer, it takes a lot of time and money to find the minerals and extract them, if you make the tax regime to harsh no one will take the risk.
    The thing with the depreciation is that it can only be claimed once, not matter how generous and the depreciation will deduction will be well and truly gone long before the mineral has, meaning that down the track you may well get you $5b. Mike might be able to provide some clarity on this but I suspect the PRRT would have a similar experience.

  18. Mike Flanagan

    Jimmy and Apollo etc;
    Apollo, I agree that other minerals should be included. They are only available for a finite period and the moneys collected should be spent on longterm projects that add productive and value to the nation. And there is a swag of them.
    Jimmy, if my memory serves me correctly Gold is and has been historically treated very favorably by the Tax Laws. They only pay the normal company rates and state charges and royalties.
    The PRRT is levied at 40% of excess profits and they all still pay the Comm Gov petroleum Royalties and Equalsation tax that was introduced to bring our local Bass Strait production into line with overseas prices.
    Both the PRRT and MRRT are more progressive acts of parliament in relation to tax collection. They both identify and engender new exploration through incentives.
    It would be a tragedy if the press let the opposition destroy these inovative pieces of legislation

  19. Apollo

    Thanks Mike. You can be my Encyclopedia Britannica in the future, I don’t trust Wiki.

  20. CML

    Bernard – I am fed up with your constant rants about Kevin Rudd. A lot of us out here think he should still be PM, and I, for one, am well informed on political matters. It is a fact that had the government of the day under Rudd introduced the tax as originally envisaged by Ken Henry (with minor changes), we would not be having this conversation.
    Why does everyone continue to blame Rudd for the lack of intestinal fortitude of some members of his cabinet? Not to mention those from the NSW right (and others), who engineered his downfall. It is also a fact that the primary and 2PP vote for the Labor Party at the time of Rudd’s demise, was higher than it has ever been since.
    Why can’t you all face the fact that the Australian voting public DO NOT LIKE Julia Gillard, will not vote for her and the Labor Party’s fortunes would vastly improve if Rudd was returned as PM.
    These louts in what was once a great party, would rather lose the election than return the most popular PM in Australian history. Well, I hope they all go down in a screaming heap along with the current PM. The very idea that it is okay for the unelected mining industry to run this great country of ours makes me want to vomit.
    We, the voting public, deserve better than a blo+dy awful rAbbott government, bowing and scraping to the mining bosses. Whatever happened to democracy?

  21. Mike Flanagan

    You will need a better IT educated one than me mate. I am IT illiterate, I couldn’t even break the ABS codes!!

    CML; Just because you repititively scream your arrant nonsense doesn’t give your assertions credibility. Back ’em up with some facts or logical argument.

  22. CML

    @MF – Rude, crude and unattractive to most. That’s you!

    If you bothered to look up the poll numbers I gave, you would see that they are indeed “factual”. So you just continue to carry on in your ostrich-like fashion….and I will remind you of your insults on September 15, 2013!

  23. Mike Flanagan

    Am looking forward to it too, and most of adjectives do fit. Thanks for the summary. Cheers

  24. Rodney Harris

    Yes, I agree with you Jimmy, I was thinking the same thing myself and was expecting to see somebody in the press say the same thing also. Alas they all seem to be following the same well worn line. I also seem to recall a couple of articles in the News Ltd press saying that the MRRT had raised not a cent in the first 2 quarters. I guess errors in The Australian are so common these days they are not worth a mention.
    As far as applying the tax to other minerals beyond iron ore and hyrdrocarbons, I don’t think it is really worth the effort at the moment. Not many other miners are returning super profits right now and that includes gold. (Can’t think of one, can anybody)
    The situation for iron ore is still very rosy in the medium to long term. The big Pilbara miners have been, and continue to, invest hugely in increasing their capacity and reducing costs of production. The price is also holding up well lately at over US$150/ton way above the lows when the tax first came in. If it is just depreciation and state government royalties causing MRRT its woes then I don’t see any long term issues. If the mining companies reduce their profits by investing in their business it just shifts the profit out to future years. I’m confident that in the long term it will be seen as a very positive move for Australia.
    The other thing that doesn’t seem to be spelt out too well in the media is that the state government royalty increases are effectively clawed back by the commonwealth anyway via the grants process. WA is constantly complaining that their GST share is at all time lows and one of the main causes for that is their big increases in royalty revenue over the last few years. The other thing to note about the design of the tax is that it is counter cyclical which is a good thing for the stability of the Australian economy surely.

  25. GeeWizz

    Let’s not forget the Big 3 policy goals Dillard set for herself at the 2010 Federal Election:

    Policy Task 1: Stop the boats – Promised to introduce an East Timor “regional processing centre”(more leftie buzzwords) to deal with the illegal boatpeople problem

    Policy Result: FAIL. Forgot to pickup the phone to the President of East Timor, policy laughed out of East Timor parliament, Dillard made Australia to look the fool. Explosion in illegal numbers with 14,000 illegals arriving by boat last year, more than the ENTIRE TOTAL boat arrival of 11 years of the Howard Government added together in one single year.

    Policy Task 2: Decide on whether to have an ETS after having a peoples forum on the issue to gather views. Promised No Carbon Tax under the government she leads

    Policy Result: FAIL and a L1E. Introduced a Carbon Tax after promising not to do so if people voted for her. Never had a peoples forum and couldn’t give a stuff about their views just so the greens are happy.

    Policy Task 3: Fix the Mining Tax

    Policy Result: FAIL. 126 Million raised instead of the original $3 Billion projected by Swan in the original budget. States will keep raising royalties meaning the Feds soon won’t see a cent, possible the dumbest piece of legislation ever to pass parliament.

    This Labor Government and Prime Minister are failures by their own measure.

  26. GeeWizz

    Jimmy… what happens to the Feds mining tax income when the states jack up their royalties again.

    Try to rub your 2 brain cells together and have a think about this… what benefit is there for the states NOT to raise mining royalties? The mining companies will already be paying the same amount of tax so it has no impact on competition, except instead of going to the Feds it will go to the State Government coffer. Think about that for a moment…

    The states know they can now raise royalties and not impact on the mining company profits, but pull money out of the Feds mining tax.

    It’s one of the most flawed policies ever to grace parliament… written by complete morons.

  27. Rodney Harris

    GeeWizz, what happens when the states increase their royalties is that they:
    1) undermine any arguments they may have had that the MRRT was killing the industry.

    2) Reduce their share of the GST revenue and probably other specific purpose grants provided by the Commonwealth to the state.

    3) Make it harder for new miners to enter the industry as royalties are paid irrespective of profitability.

    So not really a great idea for PR or for revenue or for the state’s economy.

    I think the term moron may be wrongly directed in this instance.

  28. GeeWizz


    1. Big deal… the miners were paying the tax anyway.. no loss there.

    2. GST revenue isn’t linked to the mining tax you moron and is decided by an independent umpire

    3. Nope, QLD just introduced a royalties increase on coal miners when the price of coal is over $100 a ton. The states are free to milk Dillard the Dudd’s mining tax while having little impact on the mining companies

  29. Rodney Harris

    Gee Wizz,

    1) Don’t understand your point, unless you are conceding the point. The WA government conceded the point also when they decided to increase royalties rather than continue to argue the industry was over taxed.

    2) The “independent umpire” that considers a states ability to raise its own revenue as a key factor in how it distributes GST. Ask Colin Barnett if it is linked or not. He wants the system changed though this isn’t likely to happen no matter who wins the upcoming elections.

    3) “When the price of coal is over $100/ton” still impacts on startups far more than established large players.

    It’s a case of shooting themselves in the foot really. The states would be better off letting the MRRT do its thing. Allow the system to take more revenue from the big established profitable players and give smaller miners a chance to get going without huge royalty imposts. When the price is high this is the time you really need to encourage new miners to enter the market. Here in WA at least there are some big barriers to new entrants already. Its not like the Rio’s and the BHP’s didn’t get some government assistance when they started out. Anyway playing petty politics with the issue is not what I want to see from my government.

    One large component of the MRRT revenue was supposed to go back to the states for their infrastructure needs and be targeted at the areas driving the revenue. I think logically the states that are already taking the revenue via increased royalties would be the last cab off the rank for this money. That is also the area of spending that may get reduced if the revenue does turn out to be less than forecast.

  30. Apollo

    Wizzy, not all miners sign up with the MRRT especially the small miners. Those won’t be getting back the royalty, an increase on tax on them is hypocritical from those who oppose Labor’s attempt to raise tax on the miners especially when Labor’s plan aims at ‘super profit’ a more progressive tax.

    You have a hysterically obsession with boat people, Labor’s problem is that they have been pandering to people like you when they should lead and clearly articulate that there is nothing to be fearful about. The boat people are made up of both legitimate refugees and economic migrants. Even if all of them are economic migrants, it’s nothing to be fearful, immigration program can take in much larger number than the number of boat arrivals.

    The reason for deterrence policy is because of and should be about prevention of drownings. Maintain an equitable system for those waiting and going through regular channel because the humanitarian resettlement program is not decoupled from irregular boat arrivals. They don’t articulate this forcefully and clearly because they pander to mostly Western Sydney. I understand Aristotle’s reason for recommending re-opening N.au.ru although I disagree with it but I’ll leave that discussion for another time.

    The huge number of migrants coming in would not be a problem if you have the right policy to deal with them and the right economic policy. Someone told me that in the 50s the number of refugee migrants granted to come to Australia was about 170K a year.

    They do need to articulate clearly policy of how to deal with boat arrivals in terms of housing and employment, in parallel with policy on housing and homelessness as many Australians are on public housing waiting list and also can’t get a place at the over stretched shelter.

    If I was PM I’d be taking in 300K of refugees a year. But I’ll leave it there for now.

    I can understand Labor can’t reform the MRRT right now because of business profit forecast stability and they will scream ‘sovereign risk’, but they should do it for next year’s budget.

  31. Harry1951

    Note for moderator: Geewizz calling commentators “morons” is abusive and should surely not be allowed. Same if this sort of abuse is perpetrated by anyone else.

  32. Harry Rogers

    Why if people dont agree to an increase in immigration are they “hysterically obsessive”. Why are people who dont agree with same sex marriage “homophobes”

    Why is holding an alernative view now considered with such alacrity. Has the art of argument well and truly died in this country??

  33. Harry Rogers

    correction without alacrity

  34. Apollo

    Harry go and learn the nuance of the meaning of the words in the dictionary. Wizzy’s comments throughout Crikey fit the meaning of the words. People can disagree with increase in immigration and put forward there argument and reasoning in a sound way, Wizzy does not!

  35. Harry Rogers

    Basically what your’e saying is you dont agree with him and you have no tolerance be it from people who use hyperbole similar to yourself.

  36. Apollo

    No harry, you must be talking about yourself.

    Wizzy is obsessive because he constantly complain about boat people when the articles have nothing to do with it.

    Hysterically because he demonstrated a fear of the number of boat arrival as something threatening, when historical fact demonstrate that immigration number can take in much larger number of people arriving by boats, whether economic refugees or migrants as they did in the 50s in Australia.

    Now, we know where we stand, and I don’t have the time nor the interest in continuing this conversation with you because it will get no where. Have a nice life!

  37. Harry Rogers

    Apollo, now I understand your intolerant character and I agree we have nothing to discuss.

  38. Apollo

    correction- refugees or economic migrants

  39. Apollo

    No, I don’t discuss because I don’t have the time.

    I read slow and type slow sometimes I can’t even finish reading the whole an article. And life experience inform me that with some people, no matter how the facts and reason you present to them, they won’t bel.i.eve or be persuaded, so it will be a waste of time to try. Especially people on the internet when I have more important things to do.

    That’s it, gotta go and feed my pets.

  40. Harry Rogers

    You always seem to have enough time to put the personal boot into people irrespective of their intelligence.

    Have the last word.

  41. Mike Flanagan

    A bit of levity with the sharp retort does liven the discourse or debate. But there are better uses for the word ‘moronic’ or ‘moron’ than appears to be the case here.
    Maybe a slip of the fingers, Aye!!
    Have a good one, I’m checking the hay!

  42. Hamis Hill

    A reasonable deinition of a “moron” would be a person, “Legal” or natural, who does not understand the difference between a “Super Tax” on profits and a tax on “Super Profits”.
    The precursor to the MRRT was attacked as a “Super Tax” on profits.
    That this misrepresentation easily achieved the currency of truth indicates that the description of “moron” could be appl-ied widely to the Australian population.
    The “Dumbing Down” appears to have been sucessful.
    One conservative “policy” that is well established.
    We’ve come a long way from that nation, the intelligence of whose voters should not be underestimated, to paraphrase Bob Hawke.
    There comes a time in the dunbing down where the worth of the contributing votes becomes detrimental to the democratic process.
    If you cannot compel morons to think why compel them to vote?
    And the intellectual diet presented to most Aussies does not support very much thinking now does it?
    Que? Case proven! Eg a Super tax on profits! How terrible!
    Name one other country where such a misrepresentation would work!

  43. GeeWizz

    Labor had a basis for introducing a Mining Tax and it’s called the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax.

    All they had to do was have the same level of taxation as the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax and they could have said “look, it’s a tax we put on oil and gas, why not iron ore and coal?”

    But instead Labor got greedy. Their tax on the mining companies was HIGHER than that on oil and gas.

    Of course after Kevin was rolled and Gillard capitulated, the tax is so watered down now barely anything is paid. A lot more tax would have been raised if the same Petroleum Resource Rent Tax level was imposed on the miners.

    This is Labor incompetence at work though folks.

  44. Mike Flanagan

    Gee Wizz;
    I think if you check the facts Wizzie you’ll find the PRRT tax is levied at 40% of excess or super profits whilst the MRRt is levied at 30% of super profits. Meanwhile all parties effected by the tax have other taxation committments for royalties, excises and state charges. PRRT Tax was a Labor initiated tax that was fought by the LNP on similar grounds that they use for the MRRT.
    Also the PRRT, with modifications has been used as a model in several Sth American and African countries to establish the basis of their tax regimes for the Oil and Gas extractive industries.

  45. Hamis Hill

    “Gee Wizz”; nominative determinism for the chronically, intellectually incontinent?
    Clue; don’t continuously clean up the mess, compost it and plant something useful in it, like humour.

  46. Harry Rogers

    Bullies abound on the internet. Sellf professed know it alls who suggest intellect but only show contempt for alternative points of view. “The Conversation” web site is a contest of of academic prowess and has no relevance to the argumentative process… but typified by universties.


    “nominative determinism for the chronically, intellectually incontinent”

    As I understand this .. this is intellectual abuse rather than being brave and trying to comnvince someone of a point of view. Are these people the harbingers of insecurity in debate.

  47. Harry Rogers

    Jimmy has very relevant points of discussion on this website and I think argues with, at times, considered tolerance.

    Does one suppose that the contributors who respond to Jimmy’s commenta believe he is a Liberal supporter..not for one moment.

    However I would be happy to intelligently debate issues with Jimmmy because he appears to be prepared to argue fact with fact.

    Bernard also has considearble finesse at placing the argument on the table. All these immature rants which principally demean the discussion, deserve no suupport, and the vitriole that is invested is pure infantile.

  48. Hamis Hill

    Yes, Harry, honest debate would argue that there is an absolute truth accessible by the exchange of respectable argument aided by a willingness to concede to winning arguments.
    When some participants are unwilling to accept that others in the debate are factually correct and instead resort to subterfuge then they aught to be ushered out by ridicule.
    Since there is no speaker, facilitator or chairperson role in these present exchanges, then the participants may have individually assert some order to be able progress to an understanding of the issues.
    Some people display, by their “unparliamentary” tactics, a contempt for the democratic process with its equality of value in individual opinion.
    Those of a philosophical bent might see this view of the democratic process confirmed by Christ’s statement “Whatsoever you do to these, the least of my brothers, so do you also unto me”. Scriptural equality.
    To the the extent that right -wing abusers of democracy are religious, they are by their actions “AntiChrist”.
    Just the humble opinion of life long atheist on the behaviour of devious deceivers, who hate democracy and justify any actions to destroy it.
    Unfortunately they have a might is right belief system well established by succesful practice, over the millennia, to back themselves up.
    For defenders of the fragile flower of democracy Wu Sun Tsu offers this strategy: Know your enemy, Know yourself. One hundred Battles, one hundred Victories.

  49. Hamis Hill

    On the subject of defending democracy, in this Year of the Snake, The History of The English Speaking Peoples by Winston Churchill is worthy of the “wisdom” of this year.
    Written principally for his mother’s people in the United States, this “Know Yourself” work should be also edifying for Australians, since it is arguable that the popularity of this work in the pre-war US countered the very significant forces acting there to sacrifice Australia to the Japanese Empire.
    Is the “History of the English Speaking Peoples” a worthy tome for those migrant Australians for whom English will become their language and which culture they will share?
    Who in this putative battle for democracy would benfit from an unaccountable failure to include Churchill’s book in the nation’s education curricula?
    Who, but their enemies, would benefit from Australians not knowing themselves?
    Who would benefit from Australians not knowing of Churchill’s efforts to secure the alliance of the US, in the battle to secure Australia’s present democratic freedoms, but the enemies of Australians?
    Know your enemy?
    The History of the English Speaking Peoples is the history of Australians, lost,misplaced?, but now to be found on the internet?

  50. Harry Rogers


    You raise some worthwhile points which could be discussed in another arena.

    Subjecting people to ridicule, as you suggest, is what I consider intellectually bereft and just downright childish.

    I have no doubt that whist some peoples education does not warrant the subject matter I feel obliged to at least share the knowledge and have found over time people will listen and consider alternative points of view. I know I do.

    Thanks Hamis as I say another time another forum.

  51. Hamis Hill

    Well I’ll consider your rebuke, Harry, but in turn ask you to consider Adam Smith’s description of those whom you argue lack the education to constructively contribute to a debate ans so are deserving of our pity.
    From his article on The Expenses of the Sovereign: Article II Of the Expenses of the Institutions for the Education of Youth, final paragraph;”The same might be said of the gross ignorance and stupidity which, in a civilised society, seem so frequently benumb the understandings of all the inferior ranks of society.
    A man without the proper use of the intellectual faculties of a man, is, if possible, more contemptible than even a coward and seems to be mutilated and deformed in a still
    more essential part of the character of human nature.”
    I share Smith’s opinions of those whom you defend, Harry, and ask what excuse exists for the lack of education in this day and age?
    The early tribal democracies of Rome and the Anglo-Saxon tribes required free men to arm themslves, and when necessary,present themselves to defend the boundaries of their communities.
    Surely the same might be expected of the need to be armed, intellectually, to defend our present democracy.
    And it is always the time and the place to defend democratic freedoms, something which I ask you to reconsider when dishing out your rebukes.
    Once the whole of Europe and the Americas were the “students” of Adam Smith and we are the beneficiaries of their efforts to learn.
    We let the standards fall at our peril, and there is something sad about a mental stamina which cannot cope with a few a paragraphs of philosophy and instead prefers to excuse and give equal weight to the brain farts of deceived and duped “f-ck wits” primed deliberately to degrade the debate.
    Sorry, you wouldn’t stand the rigour of a true democracy defence force. Re-read that quote, it is infact your cultural heritage, ignored or not.

  52. Mike Flanagan

    While non of us can claim omniscience, and I am a proponent of active participation in the political processes, it is encumbent on a contributor to support their assertions and make offerings with some originality in their thoughts.
    If failing this, then I still encourage as much participation as possibe but ask them to put some effort into relevance and entaining communication.
    The repetition of the same point in the same sentence structure, does get tedious.

  53. Harry Rogers

    Hamis and Mike ,

    Thanks for your points of view.

  54. Suzanne Blake

    The next issue of course is the Carbon Tax. With the EU ETS price so low, Federal Treasury is already talking the huge black hole in Australian Government finances from 2015.

    What a mess. Money spent, massive hole

  55. Jimmy

    For those interested in a an intelligent ana ly sis of the MRRT issues (that rules you out SB) have a look at Michael Pascoes article on the Age website.

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