MORE than 18,000 small businesses in the south-west will benefit from the federal government’s new mining tax, Treasurer Wayne Swan has claimed.
Nanjing Night Net

Mr Swan has started promoting the Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT) to regional Australia after legislation passed through Federal Parliament last week.

He claimed 18,900 small businesses in Wannon would receive major tax breaks, while a further 18,200 would gain similar benefits in neighbouring Corangamite.

However, the Coalition labelled the MRRT as ineffective and claimed it would instead drag the country deeper into deficit.

Mr Swan said local workers and small businesses in Wannon would get a fairer share from the mining boom thanks to the MRRT.

He said the new tax would lead to higher retirement savings for south-west workers and tax relief for small businesses

“People in Wannon know how important the mining industry is, but they also know that we can only dig up and sell the resources once,” Mr Swan said.

“The Gillard government believes all Australians should share in the benefits of the mining boom, not just a fortunate few.”

Member for Wannon Dan Tehan said the figures just did not add up.

“The problem with the mining tax is that the revenue does not cover the expenditure that goes with it,” he said.

“That puts the budget further into deficit and that is not good for Australia or the south-west.”

Corangamite MP Darren Cheeseman said milk processors, abattoirs and a host of retail businesses would benefit from reductions in company tax. He said the Coalition’s failure to back the MRRT reform was a slap in the face to small businesses, which will gain tax concessions from the new measures.

The MRRT is on track to be introduced in July, with a levy of 30 per cent on “super profits” applied to the mining of iron ore and coal.

Mining magnates including Clive Palmer and Andrew Forrest have publicly opposed the MRRT, claiming the tax will stifle prosperity in the mineral resource-rich states of Queensland and Western Australia.

Mr Swan said the MRRT would boost superannuation from nine per cent to 12 per cent for 38,800 south-west workers, which was projected to provide a 30-year-old worker on average full-time earnings with well over $100,000 in extra retirement savings.

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