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The Australia Institute, an influential progressive think tank based in Canberra, has released a report that alleges Australia’s incredibly profitable mining industry is receiving around A$4 billion ($4.12 billion) in direct subsidies.The report finds that mining companies receive cheap fuel and tax breaks for building roads and railways, with fuel-tax credits alone valued at A$1.89 billion ($1.95 billion) in 2009-10. The figure of A$4 billion only included federal subsidies — state subsidies would push that figure even higher.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the information was released in a bid to put pressure on the Australian government ahead of next month’s budget. The Australian mining industry is incredible profitable, with industry pre-tax profits of A$51 billion ($53 billion) in 2009-10, and many feel that the money could be better spent.
The Minerals Council of Australia has denied that the fuel-tax credits amount to a subsidy.
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