MRRT 'recipe' a disaster: McCormack

05 Sep, 2014 04:00 AM
Nationals MP Michael McCormack. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
You would be forgiven for thinking that the MRRT was indeed a magic pudding
Nationals MP Michael McCormack. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

RIVERINA MP Michael McCormack has used a unique and extended analogy to attack the former Labor government’s failed Mineral Resource Rent Tax (MRRT).

The mining tax was repealed by federal parliament this week, fulfilling a key Coalition election promise, opening the way for Mr McCormack to compare the tax to a cake that failed to rise, despite Labor considering it “a magic pudding”.

His five-minute speech in the House of Representatives started with a jibe at former Labor Water and Agriculture Minister Tony Burke.

“The member for Watson, sitting opposite, has been to my electorate - he has seen how much food we grow,” he said.

Mr Burke interjected that locals “loved me” when he visited Watson, a reference to his attendance at an angry public meeting in Griffith, NSW, when tensions were peaking over the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in late 2011.

The Nationals MP returned fire saying: “They did indeed - they couldn't wait to see the back of you”.

Mr McCormack’s lively speech centred on the promised “dough”, or anticipated financial returns, that failed to materialise via the MRRT.

“To listen to Labor in government, you would be forgiven for thinking that the MRRT was indeed a magic pudding,” he said.

“The member for Lilley (Wayne Swan) baked it, former Prime Minister Rudd choked on it and former Prime Minister Gillard not only reheated it but then doled it out so many times over that it actually cost more than it ever raised.”

Mr McCormack said the MRRT was “a pudding that was high in sugar and very, very low in fibre”.

He said had it not been scrapped, Labor's mining tax could have been expected to raise $668.5 million over the forward estimates from 2014-15 to 2017-18.

He said associated spending was projected to reach more than $17 billion over the same period.

“No matter how thinly you cut the slices, you cannot pay for $17,000 million worth of spending with $668.5 million in revenue,” he said.

“That is the great con. Let us remember that around 125 taxpayers were required to comply with the tax without ever having to pay anything, wasting millions of dollars in compliance costs and red tape, the economic equivalent of empty calories, if you will.”

Colin Bettles

Colin Bettles

is the national political writer for Fairfax Agricultural Media


Screen name *
Email address *
Remember me?
Comment *


light grey arrow
Penalty Rates on mortgage loans are an imposition upon those who can least afford them, that the
light grey arrow
Still at it eh Paula? Still well paid by the GM industry to promote misleading pro GM
light grey arrow
I'd like to hear from cattle producers regarding this ability to " drill down on individual