The Rudd Government has been somewhat guilty of dithering, back-pedalling, and policy cowardice in the last couple of weeks, particular on climate change. Various commentators have honed in on the government’s immediate response to the Henry Tax Review as another policy cop-out, adopting as it does just 4 (2.9%) of the review’s 138 recommendations.
While I am somewhat disappointed in how the government has rushed out its response and the recommendations it has chosen to dodge, there is no denying that the Resource Super Profits Tax [PDF] is a rather politically bold step for a Federal Labor government to be taking. The introduction of a 40% uniform tax on the profits garnered from resources extracted is guaranteed to enrage the Barnett Government in Western Australia, not to mention mining tycoons and lobby groups [PDF] such as the Minerals Council of Australia. The Opposition has not wasted any time in labeling the RSPT the government’s “second great big new tax”, but the key difference with this measure is that it is a tax that most Australians won’t be paying for.
In any case, if like me you’ve been sitting around wondering whether or not this tax is really the right thing for the country, this graph probably tells you just about all you need to know (p.47) [PDF]:
Surely it is only fair that the Australian people fare better out of all this plundering.