Palmer attacks MRRT failure

MINING tycoon Clive Palmer has jumped at the opportunity to slam the Minerals Resource Rent Tax once again following reports it had not yet raised any profits for the government.
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Clive Palmer.

Lauren Barrett

The outspoken billionaire was an avid campaigner against the implementation of the tax. He was quick to the ineffectiveness of the tax following reports the MRRT had not yet raised a cent in the 2012-2013 financial year.

Palmer said nobody but Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan were to blame for the perils of the MRRT.

“The MRRT has killed investment in Australian mining and has also destroyed Australia’s role in mining exploration for future generations,” he said in a statement.

“They [Gillard and Swan] have stuck their heads in the sand while the people of this country suffer because of an incompetent tax that, at the end of the day, raises no money.”

Palmer, not one to hold back, said the Australian people could “throw them out of the office at the next federal election.”

Palmer went on to say the government and treasury were out of touch, with the MRRT jeopardising Australia’s export trade and the futures of many Australian families.

“The Gillard Government conspired with foreign-owned companies and didn’t consult with someone such as myself as the head of one of the biggest Australian mining groups,” Palmer said.

“This debacle also highlights how academic the treasury is – they’ve been run in theory rather than reality.”

The MRRT came into effect on July 1. It taxes the profits of coal and iron ore companies operating in Australia.

First quarter tax receipts, due on Monday, show the three biggest miners in Australia - BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata - made no payments.