Media Releases | 5th May, 2014

Treasurer promises to continue to pay miners to pollute

5 May 2014

Despite trumpeting the end of the age of entitlement, Treasurer Joe Hockey has reportedly committed to retaining the $2.4 billion fuel tax credit for the mining industry.

“Asking the Australian public to tighten their belts while giving mining companies a billion dollar tax break is an insult,” says Environment Victoria Acting CEO Mark Wakeham.

“The government is putting the interests of big companies ahead of the public’s right to clean air.

“Australian taxpayers are subsidizing profits for multinational mining companies yet most of those profits go overseas.

“Instead of paying international miners to pollute, the government should be phasing out the subsidy altogether.

“Speculation in the media last week suggested a possible upper limit of $100,000 per recipient. Capping the fuel tax credit at $100k per recipient would be a reasonable starting point for a gradual phasing out.

“This would mean small agricultural operators wouldn’t be affected, but large multinationals like BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto would receive less welfare from the government.

“The 32 cent per litre diesel discount just encourages users to burn more fuel, rather than using it more efficiently, which is how the rest of us try to save money.

“The mining industry wants to have its cake and eat it too. They say we can’t have a tax on their super profits, but nor can we cut the massive annual subsidies they receive at taxpayer expense. There are far more deserving recipients of this $2.4b every year.

“The UN, World Bank, IMF, G20, International Energy Agency and the OECD all agree that fossil fuel subsidies should be phased out. Further, Australia has committed through the G20 process to phase out our subsidies, so giving the fuel tax credit scheme a haircut before the Brisbane G20 meeting would be a great way for Tony Abbott to show world leaders that he is a man of his word.”

For more information contact Holly Crocket 0413 343 329

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