Sydney: Australia on Sunday stood by its controversial proposed tax on the “super profits” of the resources industry, as it ramped up its war of words with mining companies fighting the new levy.
Finance minister Lindsay Tanner said the “core elements” of the new 40% tax rate, set to kick in once a project’s rate of return reaches about 6%, would not change despite a concerted campaign by resources firms.
“We have certainly indicated that our framework is not going to be altered,” Tanner told Network Ten’s Meet the Press programme. “The core elements, the core framework, we intend to pursue.” Tanner said the tax would help fund the lowering of company tax for all businesses and increase pension fund investment. He was dismissive of claims from miners that the levy—set to be introduced in mid-2012—would hurt investment.
Tanner’s comments came as Tom Albanese, chief executive of global miner Rio Tinto, said the proposed tax was damaging Australian investment and would ensure that resources firms Down Under would pay the highest tax in the world.