The government has released draft legislation to repeal the Minerals Resource Rent Tax.
The tax, legislated by the previous government, was opposed by the Liberal National Party while in opposition. The government wants to abolish the mining tax from July 1, 2014.
“The MRRT is a complex and unnecessary tax which struggled to raise the substantial revenue predicted by the former Government,’’ Treasurer Joe Hockey said in a statement this morning.
“Further still, this failed tax imposed significant compliance costs on one of our most important industries, while damaging business confidence which is critical to future investment and jobs.’’
The government claims axing the tax will actually save money, because it is also axing many of the spending measures funded by the MRRT.
“The former government linked a number of spending measures to the failed MRRT. These came at a significant cost to the budget, to the point where the government is borrowing money to pay for these commitments,’’ Hockey said.
“The repeal of the MRRT package contributes more than $13 billion of savings to the Budget’s bottom line on an underlying cash basis over the forward estimates… [which] will contribute towards repairing some of the fiscal damage inflicted by the previous government on our nation’s finances.’’
The bill is unlikely to be passed in the current Senate, facing many of the same difficulties as repeal of the mining tax.
Healthy first quarter for Coles
Wesfarmers-owned Coles had a handy first quarter across its supermarket network.
In a release to the ASX, it revealed its first-quarter sales rose 4.9% to $8.9 billion, with strong volume growth particularly in the sale of fresh produce.
When store closures and openings are stripped out, comparable food and liquor sales grew 3.4% on the previous year.
Shares open slightly higher
The Australian sharemarket has retreated slightly from yesterday’s five-year high, after falls on international markets overnight.
At 11.30am, the S&P/ASX200 was up 0.28% on yesterday’s close to 5370.9, while the broader All Ordinaries index rose 0.28% to 5371.7.