Dirty deals done dir… er, expensively

So in the dead of night, at 3:30am this morning, the Mineral Resource Rental Tax (MRRT) was finally passed.

But what a price did Labor have to pay? A cool $100 mil in a secret deal to the Greens.

THE Federal Government today revealed details of an extraordinary multi-million dollar pact with the Greens that secured Parliamentary support for a new law.

The deal means the Government will defer concessions for foreign banks to get $20 million a year in revenue the Greens want spent on public facilities.

Today’s announcement ended 12 hours of secrecy in which the Greens and Labor kept from Parliament and voters details of the deal to get the Mineral Resource Rental Tax (MRRT) through the House of Representatives early this morning.

Greens leader Bob Brown said today his party wanted the deal made public last night.

The tax on mining super profits will raise about $11 billion over four years.

But will it?

THE states have staged an angry backlash over the Gillard government’s mining tax trade-offs, digging in for a fight over threats to claw back GST revenue and new national approval processes for coal and coal-seam gas projects.

The resource-rich states of Western Australia, Queensland and NSW yesterday attacked the deal Julia Gillard cut with regional independents Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott to broaden the GST review to penalise states that increased their mining royalties.

WA Liberal Premier Colin Barnett led the charge, saying the Prime Minister was threatening “the very fabric of co-operation in our federation”.

The deal with the independents means Labor’s minerals resource rent tax legislation will pass the parliament this week.

In plain English,  states such as QLD and WA are saying they should be able to raise their mining royalties, but Gillard is saying if they do, then she’ll withold GST revenue from them. You see, if mining royalties are raised by the states, then these royalties can be offset against the $75 mil threshold for the mining super profits tax ergo the PM doesn’t get as much of her MRRT as she hoped.

This could easily go to the High Court.

But back to that $100 mil. It will effectively put upward pressure on interest rates and make that mortgage harder to pay.

Malcolm Farr:

In partnership with Greens Leader Bob Brown, the Government decided it was perfect reasonable to deny Parliament, its own MPs and the general public details of how it would pay to ensure support for the mining profits tax legislation.

If a private individual tried this, offering cash in secret to get a law passed, they would end up in jail. Probably they would share a cell with the member of Parliament who took the money.

Labor’s not in bed with the Greens anymore? They’ve distanced themselves lately?

Pig’s arse.

For all their anti-Greens Party rhetoric of late, Labor has demonstrated it to be all huff and puff.

In four years we’ve gone from less taxes and a budget in surplus to two massive new taxes – the carbon (dioxide!) tax and the mining super profits tax – and a budget deeply in deficit… and a government that has sold its soul to the likes of Windsor, Oakeshott and the Greens.


Judith Sloan at Catallaxy:

Now there are several points that can made:
  • Why does someone not tell Wayne Swan that the minerals do NOT belong to all Australians – they belong to the states and their citizens.  The law is absolutely clear on this point.
  • Does this deal not smack of earmarking – the destructive practice of doing a deal on an unrelated matter to progress this one?  Not good practice, by anyone’s standards.
  • Someone needs to teach Adam Ant about tax incidence who has declared that “We are satisfied that what is going to happen is that the $100 million shortfall is not going to be met from the public.”  Oh, really?

UPDATE: I have just had to walk away from the television to spare it from a non-working existence.  Yet again we have Bob Brown prattling on about the tax deal saving teachers jobs, saving nurses jobs.  Why did Chris Ulmann not point out that the federal government does NOT employ teachers and nurses?

    • Merilyn
    • November 23rd, 2011

    Bravo, bing that is how the media should report not the lilly livered rubbish that they do. Take a bow lad.

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