I don't agree with special taxes targetting one industry. The mining industry has royalities and then the usual stuff, why do they need more. The failed mining tax was complex and only been done so the feds could get their hands on the mining returns.
When minerals a sold the royalty should be based on the price by the final consumer of the product, not middle mans low prices. Royalties should also be reduced the more the mineral is processed in Australia.
Right, so the government should get rid of alcohol & tobacco duties/excise as well, despite their well-studied disproportionate impact on health and law enforcement spending? And get rid of fuel excise, which funds Federal obligations for roads?
I didn't see nearly as much complaining when the incoming Howard Government didn't get rid of the Petroleum Resources Rent Tax. Perhaps the big miners bought better PR this time around?
The mining tax (Mineral Resources Rent Tax or its equally dead but much more handsome predecessor, the Resource Super Profit Tax) was an excellent proposal to cool the mining boom and bank the temporary record profits for future generations. Australia can't magic more iron ore into existence, but the multinational mining companies can always go to other countries with deposits once ours run out.
Which brings me to...
I like a comment made on radio the other day. If companies are trying so hard to off-shore profits to low taxing countries then its probably a good sign the tax rates are too high. Potentially lowering corporate tax to lowest in OECD will see companies set up more head offices in Australia, mining and others?
Multinational companies don't care about OECD tax rates, they care about the lowest tax rates, period. They have an obligation to their shareholders to maximise profits, which includes murky tax evasion schemes. Lowering our company tax rate just engages us in a 'race-to-the-bottom' with 'countries' like Singapore, the Cayman Islands and Lichtenstein.
And for the record, many of those large multinationals might well have their actual headquarters based in New York, London or San Francisco (or even Melbourne, in the case of BHPB!) but on paper, their headquarters are actually based in those tiny countries that I mentioned.
The rule should be (and is) simple: If you make profits in Australia, you should pay Australian tax. Loopholes need to be closed to make this happen for every company, not just the drongos who can't afford a decent accountancy firm.