Australia axes contested mining tax

Surface operations process rock from the Ashton open cut coal mine near Camberwell, in the Hunter Valley, Australia, on August 30, 2011Australia on Tuesday agreed to scrap a contested resources profits tax after the government struck a surprise deal with crossbench senators, including mining tycoon Clive Palmer. The Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT) was introduced by the previous Labor administration in 2012, with a levy on annual profits above Aus$75 million (US$70 million) on iron ore and coal at a rate of 30 percent. It was intended to return a share of the spoils of Australia’s decade-long mining boom to government coffers but was widely criticised after its revenues fell dramatically short of forecasts. “The mining tax is now gone,” triumphant Treasurer Joe Hockey told parliament after the Senate, where minor parties hold the balance of power, voted 36 to 33 for its repeal, a key election promise of the Tony Abbott-led conservatives.

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