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Forrest says Swan lied about mining tax revenue

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Fortescue chairman Andrew Forrest has accused Wayne Swan of lying about the amount of revenue the mining tax (MRRT) will raise.

The government says the MRRT is forecast to collect $10.6 billion over three years starting on July 1.

“I’m sorry, your treasurer is lying to you,” Forrest told ABC Radio.

“This is not going to raise anything like he is saying.”

“It’s not going to fund his 2.7 million businesses, it is not going to fund the mums’ and dads’ super,” Forrest says.

Forrest, Australia’s second richest person, said Fortescue would pay little tax under the MRRT due to the depreciation allowances of mining projects offsetting the liabilities under the MRRT.

“I’’ve worked it out and I can tell you it is not much,” he said.

The WA-based billionaire said the tax would affect small miners rather than big miners like BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata.

“The bigger you go the richer you are, the bigger the tax shelter because Wayne Swan gave away a huge shelter without telling the Australian workers, a huge shield against paying this tax if you are big.”

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