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The truth about the mining tax

Photo by smh.com.au

Photo by smh.com.au

It has become increasingly apparent that the onus is on citizen bloggers to inform the Australian public of the truth. We certainly can’t rely on our politicians who are too busy misrepresenting the facts to make the other guy look bad.   And we can’t rely on our mainstream media who, in many cases, are under editorial instruction to present a certain view.

Today I would like to discuss that “anti-Western Australia” mining tax and put paid to some of the lies being repeated over and over from the Coalition script du jour. I wonder if they realise how annoying it is to listen to them repeat the same trite phrases regardless of who is being interviewed. This, to me, indicates that they either do not have a handle on the subject matter (I’m looking at you Tony) or that they are deliberately obfuscating the issue with whatever spin the advertising gurus tell them will resonate. Either way, it is treating us with contempt.

Most of our mining companies are majority foreign-owned and are receiving a huge windfall at the Australian taxpayer’s expense. Remember that these minerals are a finite resource – when they run out the money stops coming in. In 2001, mining companies paid approximately 40% of their profits as royalties to the state governments. Today they pay less than 20%. Clearly, there is a strong argument that the Australian people deserve to receive a greater share of today’s profits.

While parts of the Australian economy have benefited from the resource boom, other parts have suffered. Strong demand for our resources has pushed the Australian dollar higher, hurting farmers and manufacturers who export Australian-made products as their products have become more expensive to foreign buyers. The higher dollar has also impacted tourism and our foreign-student education industries. As a result, we have what has been described as a two-speed economy. The miners and associated service industries are doing very well, while our exporters are suffering.

The tax, levied on 30% of the “super profits” from the mining of iron ore and coal in Australia, was to be paid when a company’s annual profits reach $75 million, a measure designed so as not to burden small business. This affected approximately 320 companies. The money raised was to be spent on pensions, tax cuts for small businesses and infrastructure projects, particularly in Queensland and Western Australia.

Professor Ross Garnaut said, when the tax was proposed, that it would be a test of whether difficult economic reform remained possible in Australia, or whether powerful interest groups now had too much sway over the political process. I guess we have our answer.

When Australia’s richest person, Gina Rinehart, led a $22 million advertising campaign against the mining tax, the Labor Party succumbed to the bullying and allowed BHP Billiton, Xstrata and Rio Tinto to make up the rules. This was a huge mistake brought about by blackmail – give us what we want or we will make sure you lose the election. The concessions made meant that a proposed reduction of company tax could not go ahead so the miners not only screwed the Australian public, they also cost other businesses this concession.

Mathias Corman has been popping up everywhere saying that scrapping the mining tax will save the budget $13.8 billion. This is a ridiculous thing to say. How can cutting revenue save money? In fact, Hockey’s own dubious figures show that axing the tax will cost the budget $3.4 billion over the forward estimates. The mining companies were given generous accelerated depreciation concessions which, while they were in investment phase, they could write off against their record profits cutting the amount of tax due. Now, as they are moving into production phase, revenue is set to increase significantly into the future.

There have been two main arguments put forward against the mining tax. The first was that it would be a deterrent to investment, an assertion not borne out by the facts. A report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers says the possible repeal of the mining tax in Australia is unlikely to have much impact on Australia’s appeal to investors and that fluctuating commodity prices are much more of a determinant for future investment.

Another report recently released by the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia found a number of factors are constraining private investment levels including a shortage of long-term, integrated planning for infrastructure, project structuring complexity, and a general investor aversion towards greenfield infrastructure projects. Still no mention of the mining tax.

In a glaring example of how Tony Abbott is willing to mislead the Australian public, he blamed the delayed expansion of the Olympic Dam project on the mining tax, even after it was pointed out to him that the mining tax only applies to iron ore and coal, not to the copper, uranium or gold extracted from the Olympic Dam mine. Stupidity is one thing, cupidity is another.

The other emotional string pulled in the mining tax debate is that of jobs. Whilst the mining sector contributes about 10% to GDP, it is not a big employer (currently 2.4% of the workforce) and this is set to fall as they move into the less labour-intensive production phase. Since the announcement of the repeal of the mining tax we have continued to see many job losses in the mining industry.

From a peak of 85,819 positions last year, the construction element of the resources boom is expected to dive to just 7700 in 2018, with 78,000 jobs lost, according to the 2013 resources skills study released in December by the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency. Job losses are expected to be gradual in 2014 – down to 83,324 – and then rapidly accelerate to 2018.

The dive in construction jobs will be only partially offset by a rise of nearly 40,000 resources operations jobs, led by the oil and gas sector where employment should rise from 38,943 this year to 61,212 in 2018. Mining operations jobs should increase by 17,560 from 236,690 this year to 254,260.

In fact, repealing the mining tax will cost jobs as mining profits are stripped from our economy and sent to overseas investors. Instead of those billions circulating through our economy, they will be lining the pockets of foreigners.

The arguments about investment and jobs being dependent on the mining tax have been refuted from every corner, including the industry itself, and by every study that has been done. It is quite simply a lie and the government knows it, or at least they should if they have read any of the countless reports done on the matter. But there will be a cost and it will be us that pays. Tony’s pander to Gina will see

1. The abolition of the low income superannuation contribution

2. Unwinding the instant asset write-off for small business

3. Delaying the superannuation guarantee increase so it remains fixed at 9.25 per cent until 2016–17

4. Discontinuing the company loss carry-back, a benefit for small businesses

5. Dismantling the accelerated depreciation for motor vehicles

6. Ending geothermal exploration treatment

7. Scrapping the Income Support Bonus, which includes payments to the children of veterans and is a lump-sum supplementary payment made twice a year to people on certain income support payment

8. Abolishing the Schoolkids Bonus, a lump-sum payment to parents of school-aged children twice a year, even though this payment was not attached to the mining tax and was introduced to replace an existing education tax refund.

Mining shareholders will be smiling, a smile paid for by our children, our workers and our small business owners. Thanks Tony.

57 comments

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  1. Stephen Tardrew

    Hilarious Kaye Labor lost the election anyway. What dummies.

  2. Kaye Lee

    Both

  3. flohri1754

    The voters (at least those below magnate level) are the ones who are paying in any and all cases …. that last election was definitely one of those where “the devil you don’t know” is much, much worse than the one known ……

  4. Pingback: The truth about the mining tax « The Australian Independent Media Network « SNAFU

  5. John Ward

    Thanks once more for great reporting on the theft of Australia’s minerals by the mining corporations. Much appreciated.
    Below is some reminders of how these entities have operated through time since Elizabeth the first chartered the British East india Company in 1600.

    Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican to be President also had plenty to say about corporations…

    “The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. The banking powers are more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. They denounce as public enemies all who question their methods or throw light upon their crimes. I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is my greatest foe.”

    “I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavour to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless.”

    Unfortunately, Lincoln’s suspicions were anything but groundless. They were in fact, prophetic. After the Civil War, corporations began aligning themselves with Republican politicians, who proved themselves to be up to the task of helping corporations gain more power. Corporations had free reign and total power over its workforce and could sell virtually anything they wanted even if the product was a bad one. Corporations treated workers like slaves. Wages were extremely low. Workers received no benefits, no vacation days, no health insurance, no workers compensation. President Grover Cleveland witnessed how corporations treated its labour force and had this to say in 1888,

    “As we view the achievements of aggregated capital, we discover the existence of trusts, combinations, and monopolies, while the citizen is struggling far in the rear, or is trampled beneath an iron heel. Corporations, which should be the carefully restrained creatures of the law and the servants of the people, are fast becoming the people’s masters.”

    Thomas Jefferson, November 13, 1787, letter to William S. Smith.
    And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”

  6. Kerri

    Again an excellent article Kaye Lee. How do we get your words of truth into the wider public arena?? There are a hell of a lot of people out there willing to forego journalistic independance due to their inability to use a computer. My husband is one. The voters of WA need this sort of information to counter the streams of BS being sprayed at them by Abbott, Rinehart, Murdoch et al. If the good folk of WA do not seize the opportunity to stifle this Governments destructive and class based punishment of the ” lower classes” we will lose so much that cannot be reclaimed and so much that if it can be reclaimed will crush this country way more than Hockeys lies about us all carrying our weight to save crushing Gina. I seriously hope her co investors screw her over like she is screwing us. Her pretence of saving West Australia and the North are hollow excuses for unabashed greed.

  7. Kaye Lee

    Very interesting quotes thanks John, though it does make me depressed that we have recognised the danger for 150 years but have been unable to guard against it. The only organisation capable of protecting us from corporate greed is government through legislation. With this government, we are having unprotected dalliances and have caught a dose of governmentally transmitted disease.

  8. mark delmege

    The thing about a profit tax is that big companies and especially multinats can shuffle around their paperwork and avoid paying the tax. One thing the WA liberal premier has done is ‘up’ the royalty rates – as a result our State is taking in a couple of $billion more per year than it was a couple of years ago. The quid pro quo from a WA perspective is that as a result of our extra mining income we lose a big chunk of the GST we have paid to the Feds. This is fair and reasonable from a national tax equalisation perspective – but the politics is messy and because our media – The West and the Oz are also lie machines its hard for the average citizen to sort through the crap.

  9. abbienoiraude

    Thanks again Kaye for a thorough expose of this Government’s obfuscations and lies.

    One section of the community that comes under the “Bonus support” are we Carers. We actually save the community millions of dollars a year in our efforts to support and care for our disabled and needy citizens. We were given a ‘bonus’ of $600 a year which recognised the underpaid and underappreciated work we do for our loved ones and our family and/or friends. $118 a fortnight does not cut it, but that little bit of a bonus each year helped to lessen the financial burden a little – helped with car maintenance/bills/housing up keep etc. It is surprising how far we on so little can make that bonus go….and ALL of it goes back into our local communities.

    This Govt is hell bent on lying and getting away with it. They honed us well during the negative blathering of the 6 years of Labor’s governing.

    What a waste of effort Labor put into pandering to the rednecks. Hopefully they have learned their lesson and will stick to their guns next time in office….

  10. Dan Rowden

    Abbott may have made an election commitment to scrapping the tax but one wonders how much electoral support he actually has, other than from big business, for such a move. It’s hard to see small business being pleased and the polls seem to suggest that the majority of Australians feel that the big miners do not pay sufficient tax.

    If the upcoming senate re-election were anywhere but WA you’d tend to feel confident that blocking the tax repeal measure would not really hurt Labor or the Greens. But because it’s WA, I’m not so confident. The Coalition timing of presenting the repeal to the Senate is, one has to say, fairly politically astute.

  11. Kaye Lee

    mark,

    Part of the MRRT package negotiated by the miners was that any increase in royalties imposed by the states would be reimbursed by the federal government – NSW, Queensland and WA jumped on that and upped the ante effectively grabbing a bunch of federal money.

    NSW said it would scrap its royalty increases if the Abbott government dumps the MRRT but the Queensland and West Australian governments said they have no intention of repealing increases in state-based mineral royalties

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/states-keep-billions-in-royalty-grab/story-fn59niix-1226739923644#

  12. Michael Taylor

    Who are the dummies, Stephen. Labor themselves, or the voters?

  13. mars08

    Dan… “fact check”??? “ABC”??? Haven’t you heard? The leftist national broadcaster is “taking everyone’s side but Australia’s “. tsk tsk.

  14. Kaye Lee

    Kerri,

    My husband is likewise. He is an intelligent caring man who works very long hours. He gets his news from the Telegraph (don’t yell at me, I have told him), talk back radio, and the nightly tv news if he gets home in time. We share similar views about justice and morality but we are working from conflicting information. It leads to some very heated discussions at times but he is slowly realising that he has been conned.

  15. Matters Not

    When Gillard and Swan negotiated with the three mining companies, they were sold a pup. So desperate were Gillard and Swan to get a political outcome, they ‘personally’ did the deal, while those who understood the corporate ‘machinations’ (public servants) were locked out of the room. A clear case of hubris writ large.

    Treasurers are not financial experts in any sense of the term. Their job is to ‘sell’ decisions and only to appear to make ‘decisions’ after extensive advice. Yet we have seen Costello, Swan and now Hockey act like they really understand the whole range of ‘tools’ treasury uses to ‘measure’. At best, Treasurers make broad policy choices but keep them well away from implementation.

  16. Joe Banks

    Kaye Lee, you are a gladiator of the keyboard. Great article! The truth about the mining tax (I like mining super profits tax) and the fairness of such a tax in Australia is so clear and obvious that it is incomprehensible that any sane person or politician would oppose it. Hmmm. Whilst social media is doing a great job, and people like yourself are investing a lot of time and energy in trying to get the message out, we still need to see articles like this in the popular daily papers and maybe on the television ‘idiot news’. For now, all I can say is I hope you and your colleagues don’t run out of energy and enthusiasm…

  17. Kaye Lee

    abbie,

    This is the crazy thing. Carers save us billions. As Tony Windsor pointed out, if we could facilitate 5% of people staying in their homes one extra year before going into care we would save $60 billion over the next ten years. I was the carer for my mum who has alzheimers for 6 years – I know what a struggle it is. I gave up my career to do this thus forgoing not only wages but superannuation and associated benefits. Carers don’t look at the personal cost, they do what must be done. To then be screwed over by the very people who you are saving a fortune by your sacrifice is too much to bear. Since everything seems to come down to money nowadays, the entire population needs to realise how much people like you are contributing directly to the economy in health care savings. You are the real heroes, the politicians are the zeros.

  18. Michael Taylor

    Kerri, how do we get the truth out there? We share this article far and wide. 🙂

  19. Stephen Groch

    So the Mining Tax has not collected as much as was forecast because of accelerated depreciation write-offs. I have never seen any analysis as to how much extra tax will be paid in future years by miners because they will not in future have those write-offs. Even if the tax was abolished today it would still have the effect of increasing tax collections from miners in future years because their depreciation write-offs have been exhausted. The main cost to miners and benefit to the government has yet to be realised and abolishing the tax will not change that.

  20. Kaye Lee

    Stephen,

    I don’t quite understand your comment. The MRRT is not instead of company tax, it is on top of it. Abolishing it will mean the federal government gets an estimated $3.4 billion less over the forward estimates so I fail to see how that does not affect our income. Perhaps you can explain to me how getting rid of that revenue will benefit the government.

  21. Stephen Tardrew

    Both Michael:

    The voters, I think, were confused and hoodwinked and Labor failed to sell its policies adequately. I know the whole media bias thing however I think it is time for Labor to show a bit of humility and recognize its failings and proceed to change. After all they lost the election through internal conflict and indecisiveness. No excuses they lost and need to revisit their policy objectives. Kaye’s point about giving into the miners is valid. You have to hold to your objectives and bring the public with you. They let the miners intimidate them. I know its not easy however if you vacillate and show indecisiveness this lot will take you to the cleaners.

    There is more than enough evidence that selling out you resources without adequate return is just self- defeating. They will not come back later. Investors know Australia is a stable market and that’s why they invest here. If there is money to be made they will come, in fact, nothing will hold them back.

    You have to convince the public of the veracity of you case not just give in through fear of loosing the election. Politics is about fighting for what you think is right. Compromise is OK but too much demonstrates weakness.

  22. Michael Taylor

    Mars08, anyone who tells the truth about the government . . . Is an enemy of the government.

  23. Kaye Lee

    “Politics is about fighting for what you think is right”

    If only that were true. Politics nowadays is about fighting to get re-elected pure and simple. It’s become a game of theatrics, spin, image and message control. Altruistic public service is long gone, surplanted by people like Credlin and Textor – whatever it takes. Tony Abbott does not have one servile bone in his body. I knew him when he was an over-confident, over-indulged teenager/early 20s who always had a very high opinion of himself and his ability to rule (student representative council in those days). We all thought he was an inconsequential bully boy – my opinion hasn’t changed.

    Other than that, I agree with everything you said, and I fervently wish that politics was still about doing what was right. Sadly we will never see that from this government or perhaps any in the future. The corporations have taken over government – are the people strong enough to fight them?

  24. Stephen Groch

    Kaye,

    What has been claim as accelerated depreciation against the mining tax cannot be claimed again in future years against the mining tax or company tax. Even though little revenue has been raised it has sucked depreciation write-offs out of the forward years meaning that the mining companies will now pay more tax in those years. Even if Abbott and Co abolish the tax as of 30 June, it will still have positive revenue effects in the future years (although obviously not as large as if it had remained in place) which Abbott and Co will take credit for and the miners will squeal like stuck pigs about the amount of tax they pay because they have already “spent” their deductions. When Abbott and Co crow about the ‘failed tax’ they are are only telling half the story. Its greatest net effect so far has been to wipe out several forward years of tax deductions. Unfortunately the Libs will claim credit with Gina for having removed it while being in government in the years that it has its most effect of the budget.

  25. Stephen Tardrew

    Sadly you are right Kaye I just cannot help living in hope. The alternative is too bleak.

  26. Kevin Arnold

    I, too have been critical of Labor’s backdown on the original MRRT. However this criticism must be tempered by the benefits of some very good legislation that will take some very clever footwork for this government to get rid of. These would never have been there if Julia Gillard had stuck to the original MRRT. If we are smart we can get rid of this lot before they do it, just like the Miners did to Labor. I do not read the Telegraph and watch the ABC less and less because the have joined the ranks of the head nodders.

  27. Mich

    Its quite telling that they want to scrap the mining tax but make people who are bankrupt pay $100 so they can recoup 25 million over four years. If it wasn’t so serious it would be funny.

  28. Kaye Lee

    Not to mention investing $20 million into marriage counselling vouchers which of course has NOTHING to do with Kevin Andrews and his wife being in the business of marriage guidance.

  29. infinite8horizon

    Reblogged this on infinite8horizon and commented:
    With the WA Senate rerun around the corner, it’s worth checking the realities on how we share the wealth from our own resources. Some countries, like Norway, have used them to improve everyone’s lot. Have we?

  30. Kaye Lee

    Mining giant BHP Billiton recently increased its profits by 83% to US$8.1bn. Within the last year alone, there has been a 20% increase in BHP Billiton’s Western Australian iron ore exports. In spite of this enormous growth, the company only paid US$29m in minerals resource rent tax (MRRT). As it stands, the tax is in no way making BHP uncompetitive – its bumper profits are a testament to that.

    From 2003 to 2011, the net income balance reduced from minus 2% to – 6% of Australian GDP. In other words, Australia is being held at gun point by day light robbers.

    Unlike Australia, Norway has kept their resource extraction wealth in their control without it fattening up a capitalist exploiting of finite mineral resources. Norway has a 78% tax on oil and gas revenues – unlike Australia, where the effective tax rate is a mere 13%. $60bn from gas sales to continental Europe is annually deposited in the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund. The fund has 5.11 trillion Krone (AU$930bn), or twice Norway’s GDP.

    Pal Haugerud, director general of the asset management in the department of the Norwegian ministry of finance, has explained Norway’s policy:

    “It is a fund for future generations, both current and future. And that’s a responsibility for us to make sure that not only this generation, but also future generations get their fair share of the wealth because it is a one off. It is a transformation of wealth. We used to have wealth beyond the North Sea and now we are transferring that into financial assets.”

    If the Norwegian experience has demonstrated anything it is that resources cannot move, unlike factory operations which can move to a jurisdiction with the lowest regulation, wage or taxation level. If taxed heavily, corporations have no option but to pay a fair price for those resources. If a company threatens to cease operation, government should offer to nationalise the operation at a fair price, so a public company similar to Statoil can extract the profits and deposit them in a sovereign wealth fund, reduce taxation or improve infrastructure and social spending. Norway’s example demonstrates that, after 20 years, private companies will remain and continue to make a profit – with margins reduced.

    From 2012 to 2016, up to $50bn of dividends of Australian wealth will leave Australia. Australia’s mineral wealth is owned by the Crown; the Crown holds those resources in trust so they may benefit citizens. Those resources ought to be exploited by the Australian citizenry because they belong to them.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/19/mining-tax-its-time-for-all-australians-to-realise-they-are-being-ripped-off

  31. mars08

    Great! More worker liberated from their jobs so they can improve their lives!

    Because multinationals care about their workers…. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-02/bp-to-close-bulwer-island-refinery-brisbane-jobs-axed/5361296

    ….and globalisation is always a good thing… and rising tide will lift all boats …

    “…We need to compare ourselves with our Asian neighbours where the entitlements programs of the state are far less than they are in Australia.”
    ~Joe Hockey (18 April, 2012)

  32. musteryou

    This is well researched and whatnot, but the expression is “put paid to”.

  33. Kaye Lee

    You are quite right. Thanks for picking it up. Will edit now 🙂

  34. Dissenter

    Great article Kaye Lee. Thanks to Dan rowden for adding the factcheck detail ( INTERESTING HOW they were not prepared to VENTURE into the field OF HOW MUCH revenue will be gleaned in the NEXT 5 YEARS) the really KEY ISSUE.
    Australians all are BEING RIPPED off and it is TIME WE all did something about it.

  35. lawrencewinder

    Good article that needs dissemination…

  36. Don Winther

    Kaye Lee, I love and appreciate your work and can only say “Thanks”

  37. mark delmege

    Kaye thanks for article and comments – my point about royalties v profit tax I think still holds some water. 75% of the top 200 aussie companies have offshore tax haven accounts – you’d think at least in part to avoid tax.
    Our aussieoligarks have tremendous sway – in the Ukraine – on one level – it was very much a battle between contesting oligarchs – who were used by empire to get what Samuel really wanted – but thats another story. Over here in the West three aussiegarks will play an important role in our Senate Election – Murdoch – owner of the Sunday Paper and various other outlets, Kerry Stokes – who owns the Daily Paper and various other outlets, and Clive Palmer who is spending money like its going out of fashion to get his candidate up. Three Garks. All against the people and two who clearly support the Liberals and the other who will do so in parliament anyway.

  38. sam

    Australian economy == classic rigged market capitalism.

    They subsidise the mining industry every step of the way from exploration to digging the stuff out of the ground even for the fuel the mining equipment uses!

    “38,943 this year to 61,212 in 2018. Mining operations jobs should increase by 17,560 from 236,690 this year to 254,260.”

    Anyone else notice:
    That is a pitiful amount of jobs! Absolutely pitiful. What a joke. For all the RUBBISH the liberals carry on about their ‘job creation’ most inefficient government ever.

    We had 90,000 young people dissapear off the radar last year (stopped even trying to get jobs because there werent enough lost to hidden employment) And they cut back on the rest of society that needs help to create so few jobs!

    Australia will be in one hell of a recession but that wont stop the liberals from claiming its ‘average joe’ not working hard enough!

  39. mark delmege

    It’s taken the Pacific Rim Strategy 30 years to kick in here and now jobs and industries are leaving quicker than … well…they are just going

  40. billabonglime

    Reblogged this on Nuclear Ideas and commented:
    My view is tax the mining companies 50% and put a halt to their creative accounting techniques as well as stop the subsidies to them. They won’t stop making their billions in profit nor will they stop mining they will just have to share what they make from our resources with the country.

  41. Douglas Evans

    Once again I find myself agreeing cmpletely with Kaye Lee – This is becoming unnerving. However off subject (I know) but I reckon many of you will be interested in the following.
    Just in case any of you missed this in the other places I posted it. I thought that Yarra Greens might find this interesting.

    Sometime ago on the principle that ‘you never know what might show up’ I gave the IPA $10 so I could get their news emails. Here’s an interesting request that showed up in my inbox from Ian Plimer no less!
    ——————————————————
    Doug

    I’ve got some great news for you. Already 512 IPA members and supporters have donated a total of $144,544 to support the publication of a new book “ Climate Change: The Facts 2014″. Confirmed contributors include Mark Steyn, Andrew Bolt, Richard Lindzen, Jo Nova, Anthony Watts, James Delingpole, Bob Carter, and Ian Plimer.

    I’m delighted to share some new developments about Climate Change: The Facts 2014. We’ve now been able to include Professor Ross McKitrick, from the University of Guelph in Canada as a contributor. Professor McKitrick was one of the key academics who exposed the mistakes of the infamous ‘hockey stick’ graph which has been used to justify so much bad climate change policy. A few years ago McKitrick said about Earth Hour: “I abhor Earth Hour. Abundant, cheap electricity has been the greatest source of human liberation in the 20th century. Every material social advance in the 20th century depended on the proliferation of inexpensive and reliable electricity.”

    If you’ve already made a donation thank you! Our fundraising target is $175,000. If we raise $175,000 we can publish Climate Change: The Facts 2014 and get copies of it to those who need it most politicians and journalists in Canberra.
    —————————————————–
    Perhaps some of you like me have a message for Plimer who can apparently be contacted here; mailto:ian.plimer@ipa.org.au

  42. Douglas Evans

    Sorry I was in a hurry forget the reference to Yarra Greens! Otherwise it’s an interesting insight into what the enemy is up to isn’t it. A book of lies aimed at politicians looking for an excuse to do what their paymasters tell them to do and briefing journalists so they can hoodwink the sheeple. And anyone looking to interpret the current depredations of the IPA solely to Abbott et al might like to remember the strong and long connection between John Roskam from the IPA and Bill Shorten.

  43. Flora

    A great article but I noticed you spent a little more time than required on the jobs argument. The entire jobs argument relies on nobody wanting the resources if it cost a little off the top of profits. Production will always require people and reduced production means reduced income. I live in a mining town and 2000ish jobs were just shed here but now there is a call for staff, seems if you don’t have the people you can do the work. As nobody wanting our resources is not going to happen no jobs is also not the most likely outcome, the entire jobs argument is a lost cause. The mining industry will stop when the profits stop not before and not simply for a little less than they make now.

  44. Kaye Lee

    Flora, I agree about the jobs. I guess I laboured the point because the mining companies and Coalition politicians make so much of it in their advertising campaigns.

    We have been told that people won’t invest in mining here but that’s a load of crap. As you so rightly point out, while there is profit to be made they will invest and if they make a billion or so less it’s not a drop in the bucket. Equally, they will shed employees quickly when it suits them and then employ 457 visa workers if they can.

  45. ausross

    Isn’t it interesting that another anti-mining tax campaigner, Clive Palmer, got himself both a lower House seat and control of two Senate seats. And then receives Federal approval for more coal mining, along with taxpayer-funded railway and expanded coal port while the authority in charge of protection of the Great Barrier Reef approves dumping of the dredging of the expanded port directly onto the Reef.

  46. Trish

    We are the dummies and winging, but I didn’t,t vote for either of them.
    We are all going to work for $1.00 per day just ask Tony and Gina.
    I have lived in places were there were low or no paid workers called servants or slaves and Australia owned that Territory, and now the politicians and corporations are doing to Australians. Wake up Australia!

  47. Bernie Masters

    “Most of our mining companies ….. are receiving a huge windfall at the Australian taxpayer’s expense. In 2001, mining companies paid approximately 40% of their profits as royalties to the state governments. Today they pay less than 20%.”
    What rubbish! Most mining companies are owned by shareholders including millions of Australians. These companies all pay their legally required taxes and charges to state, local and federal governments. On average, profits made by mining companies amount to less than 20% of total income, meaning that more than 80% of their income is paid to employees, service providers and governments. There simply isn’t a huge windfall.
    As for the claim that mining companies used to pay 40% of their profits as royalties, what a gross distortion of the truth. As mining company profits have risen over recent years thanks to higher mineral prices paid mainly by China, so these same companies paid higher wages to their Australian employees and paid higher amounts of tax to the federal government from their higher profits.
    This article is a total beat-up and a waste of space.
    If you want some more of the truth, remember that it was the Ken Henry review in Australia’s overall taxation system that proposed a super profits tax on mining companies at the same time as the federal government negotiated with the states about reviewing their state-based mineral royalties. In addition, there were (I think) about 100 or so other recommendations made by Henry but Rudd, fool that he was, cherry picked the recommendations which he could implement most quickly and with the greatest return to the federal coffers. His laziness in not attending to the 99 Henry recommendations meant that the mining industry was being picked on in a very unfair and biased way. Rudd got his just desserts last year when Abbott beat him and soon hopefully the mining tax will get its just desserts.

  48. Vince O'Grady

    Thanks Kaye,

    Interesting article. Of course the mining companies should pay more tax than they do. And I think it is necessary to point out that in fact labor did impose this TAX. Yet they seem to be blamed for not doing enough all the time.

    I see someone said that they need to adjust their policy stance. That is a stupid comment. I thought that the RUDD/Gillard Labor government had a great set of policies and they were about Australians, not these corporations. They saved Australia from the GFC by providing real Jobs on upgrading Schools.

    That created over half a million new jobs in a year (2010).

    They wanted to upgrade the communications infrastructure with a world class NBN. In itself a signature change. It was going to make a 7.5% return so it would have actually made a profit and cost Taxpayers nothing. Everyone would have paid for it with their Internet subscriptions.

    They wanted to save the world from human induced Climate change. And introduced a scheme to make polluters pay whilst compensating the public. It worked and was about to become a market based scheme.

    All of this has been torn down by this Government we have now. During his opposition Abbott characterised the Labor government as Liars and he had the Press (Murdoch) with him. he also was a much better judge of human character than many give him credit for.

    He always plays the fear card. fear of people losing their money, fear of terrorists, fear of fear.

    When we actually look at Abbott’s policies he has none. he doesn’t want to subsidise the Car Industry, despite EVERY OCED car manufacturing country doing so and at a much greater rate than Australia ever did.

    His lies about the carbon price and how much it costs and how much you will get back don’t match.

    He did all of this for the miners of Iron Ore and Coal and for a media Giant who wants to control the opinions of everyone in the world it seems.

    And he has succeeded in all of this. Whilst the Labor party were hard at work with real Policy stuff. Abbott was hard at work for big business. Don’t also forget the Thomson and Ashby affairs which have more than a little conspiracy in them.

    So what do we have. People whining about the Australian labor party. When the alternative is much much worse.

    I am extremely frustrated with the internal divisions of the leadership of the party, but I can tell you that the Liberal party has the same, but they just have more Party discipline. That is all they have and zero policies.

    No Jobs policy, no nice policy and no heart.

    People can thank themselves for the mess they are in now with a far right wing government. They voted the Labor party out, because they were duped by the partisan press and the world’s best Liar.

    My advice to people is to get involved so that your voice actually counts. Rather than just carping all the time.

  49. Pingback: Understanding ‘Abbott-Speak’ – Truthiness to English Dictionary | Progressive Conversation

  50. Pingback: Abbott the Dragon Slayer: The art of making scary mountains out of tiny molehills | Progressive Conversation

  51. Pingback: Abbott the Dragon Slayer: The art of making scary mountains out of tiny molehills – Written by PROGRESSIVE CONVERSATION | winstonclose

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