ACTU backs Australia gov't on resource super profit tax reform

13:25, June 02, 2010      

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The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) said Wednesday it will call for further progressive tax reform as the government faced mounting pressure over a 38 million dollars (31.7 million U.S. dollars) advertising blitz selling its levy on the profits of mining companies.

The ACTU has been expected to use a community forum on Wednesday to call for more reform, while pointing to a new analysis which it said showed the super profits tax will boost the economy and create jobs.

ACTU President Jeff Lawrence said modeling demonstrated reforms including the resource super profits tax (RSPT) would boost the economy by 0.7 percent a year and investment by 2.1 percent.

But the union also wanted the government to do more in terms of supporting key recommendations that came out of the Henry review.

"We want to see action on our other proposals including for more consistent tax treatment of investment income," Lawrence said.

"The regressive effect of a proposed flattened personal income tax scale, and an absence of firm proposals to stem tax avoidance through private trusts and companies are areas of weakness."

The comments came as the government faces pressure over its plans for a taxpayer-funded advertising campaign to sell the RSPT.

Treasurer Wayne Swan maintained the advertising are in the national interest and needed to counter "a war chest of over 100 million dollars (83.5 million U.S. dollars)" the mining sector intended to spend on a campaign of misinformation.

Legislation setting up the 40 percent tax on mining company profits was not expected to be introduced until after the election and the levy itself has not been scheduled to come into force until 2012.

Mining bosses will head to Canberra on Wednesday for the annual conference of the Minerals Council of Australia, which has taken up the fight on behalf of the industry.

There will also be a showdown on the tax between Queensland mining magnate Clive Palmer and high profile union boss Paul Howes, secretary of the Australian Workers Union, at the National Press Club.

Source: Xinhua


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