Abbott denies Coalition is hypocritical on mining tax
TONY Abbott says he remains committed to scrapping the mining tax "holus-bolus", contradicting shadow treasurer Joe Hockey's revelation that the Coalition plans to retain a major component of the package if it wins the next election.
Mr Hockey told The West Australian that a Coalition government would retain Labor's extension of the petroleum resource rent tax to onshore projects.
This move, which formed part of the government's introduction of the mineral resources rent tax last year, is predicted to generate a significant boost to tax receipts, particularly from the coal seam gas sector in Queensland and New South Wales.
Before changes introduced by the government last year the PRRT, a product of the Hawke government, only applied to offshore oil and gas projects.
Speaking in Melbourne Mr Abbott denied the Coalition was being hypocritical, claiming the PRRT and MRRT were separate taxes.
"We're not against the petroleum tax because it's an existing tax," Mr Abbott said.
"We are dead against the mining tax and that goes. Absolutely, that goes under a Coalition government."
Pressed on what parts of the PRRT the opposition would retain in government, Mr Abbott said he would consult industry leaders "to try and ensure petroleum gas is appropriately taxed".
But Treasurer Wayne Swan pounced on The West Australian's story, saying it was a "staggering backflip" from the Coalition.
"They've adopted holus-bolus a substantial part of the MRRT package," Mr Swan said during his press conference to announce the changes to superannuation.
"This is absolutely staggering and it just shows a level of hypocrisy from the Liberal Party that is simply breathtaking."