Australia's Mining Tax Raised A Paltry $600K In The June Quarter And It's Just What The Abbott Government Needs

Image: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images.

Australia’s mining tax brought in just $600,000 in the three months to June. It probably costs more in administrative fees to keep the tax in place.

But poor mining tax returns is something the Abbott Government probably isn’t too concerned about – it could potentially be used to lever a repeal through the senate.

“Revenue from the June quarter instalment of the Mining Tax represents just 0.5 per cent of an estimated $150 million for the same quarter forecast back at MYEFO. The June receipt is far less than the Coalition Government’s initial forecast in December,” Treasurer Joe Hockey said.

The Abbott government made an attempt earlier this month to repeal the Mining Resources Rent Tax but the Palmer United Party’s three senators blocked the move unless spending measures including the schoolkids’ bonus, income support bonus and low-income superannuation contributions remained in play – measures which cost the federal budget about $8 billion, The Australian reports.

“We cannot continue to pay for these things out of a tax that raises no money. (It) raises no money and all it does is create sovereign risk for Australia,” Hockey told ABC Radio.

He asked the parliament to respect the government’s “mandate” to repeal the legislation and said if other revenue streams could be used to pay for the schemes a deal could be negotiated.

“The PUP was elected on the basis they were going to repeal the mining tax package. We were elected on the basis we were going to repeal the mining tax package,” Hockey said.

“If we continue to have expenditure funded by the nation’s credit card rather than being funded by the money we earn, then the bottom line is we are going to lose jobs and we are going to have a lesser quality of life in the future.”

The mining tax is yet to hit a revenue target since it came into force on July 1, 2012. It famously raised no money in its first two quarters.

Flailing returns have largely been driven by the design of the tax. It is linked to commodity prices – which have fallen – as well as the ability of miners to claim state royalty payments and infrastructure investments as deductions.

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