Hockey And Cormann Hail Mining Tax Repeal As Best Possible Deal In The National Interest

Following today’s vote in the Senate to repeal the mining tax, the Treasurer, Joe Hockey, says the government has delivered on another of its election commitments.

Hockey

Hockey, speaking at a joint press conference with the Finance Minister, Senator Mathias Cormann, said the government had secured the best possible deal it could in the national interest. He attacked the Labor Party for dealing itself out of negotiations. The Palmer United Party was only relevant, Hockey said, because the ALP would not negotiate.

Cormann also blamed Bill Shorten for the delay in increasing the compulsory superannuation contribution. Hockey said the outcome wasn’t the government’s preferred position but that it was the ALP preventing it delivering on its election commitments.

  • Listen to Hockey and Cormann (15m – transcript below)

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Media release from Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Senator Mathias Cormann.

Failed mining tax finally gone

The Government has delivered on our commitment at both the 2010 and 2013 elections to scrap the failed Minerals Resource Rent Tax (mining tax).

Along with scrapping this failed tax we are abolishing or re-phasing all of the unfunded promises that Labor irresponsibly and recklessly attached to it. The tax package was so poorly designed, it was in fact costing the Government billions of dollars each year. [Read more...]


Mining Tax Abolished As Government Deals With Palmer

2.20pm – The federal government has struck a deal with Clive Palmer and the Senate has voted 36-33 to abolish the mining tax.

The agreement will see the Income Support Bonus continue until the end of 2016. The Schoolkids Bonus will also continue until the end of 2016 but will be means-tested and eligibility will cut out for family incomes above $100,000. The Low Income Super Contribution will continue in its existing form until June 30, 2017. The agreement will also see a slower increase in compulsory superannuation, with an increase to 10% from July 2021 and then by increments until it reaches 12% in 2025.

It is believed the agreement was struck late this morning and signed off by Prime Minister Tony Abbott around midday. When the Senate met at 12.30, the government moved to bring on an immediate vote on the legislation.

The Opposition attempted to have the legislation referred to a Senate Committee but this was defeated. The ALP concentrated on the superannuation changes in their arguments against the final passage of the repeal legislation.

The amended bills were passed 36-33 by the Senate at 2.20pm, with the support of the PUP senators Lazarus, Lambie and Wang, and Senators Muir, Leyonhjelm and Day. Independent Senator Nick Xenophon voted against, whilst DLP Senator John Madigan did not vote.

The bills were returned to the House of Representatives which also passed the amendments at 6.27pm.

Watch the full Senate debate. It began just after 12.30pm and ended at 2.20pm.

Announcing to the House of Representatives that the Senate had voted to repeal the mining tax, Treasurer Joe Hockey said it was “testament to a failed government”. He said it showed how “irrelevant” the modern Labor Party is. “They were dealt out – the modern Labor Party is irrelevant,” Hockey said.

The agreement says the 3 PUP senators will support the legislation, as will the Motoring Enthusiast Senator Ricky Muir. Two other senators will be required to secure passage and this is likely to come from Senators Bob Day, David Leyonhjelm and John Madigan. [Read more...]


Abbott Pressures Parliament To Repeal Taxes By Christmas

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has repeated his call for the Parliament to repeal the carbon and mining taxes by Christmas.

With Parliament due to begin its final week for the year tomorrow, Abbott has posted a video on YouTube in which he says that “December is the time to deal with unfinished business”.

There have been suggestions in recent weeks that the government might keep the Parliament sitting closer to Christmas. In fact, the government can only determine when the House will sit and it will have dealt with the relevant legislation by the end of the week.

In the Senate, control lies with the ALP and the Greens and it is not yet clear whether the legislation will be voted on before it rises.

  • Watch Abbott’s video message (2m)

Abbott Government Outlines Legislative Program For First Parliamentary Sittings

The Abbott government has issued a document listing the first items of legislation to be considered by the 44th Parliament.

The Parliament is to be ceremonially opened next Tuesday, November 12. The first Question Time will take place on Wednesday.

As expected, legislation to repeal the carbon and mining taxes will be among the first to be introduced. Abbott has promised that repealing the carbon tax will be the first piece of legislation to be introduced to the House.



Senator Christine Milne’s Address To The National Press Club

The leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Christine Milne, has addressed the National Press Club and announced that the party’s agreement with the Gillard minority government is at end end.

Milne

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  • Listen to Milne’s responses to questions (31m)

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Text of Senator Christine Milne’s Address to the National Press Club.

Australian Democracy at the Crossroads: The mining industry and the quarry past versus the people and the innovative future.

Parliamentary colleagues, distinguished guests and friends.

Australian democracy is at the crossroads. Our future as a nation, our sense of who we are and what we want for our society and local community is now being determined by mining billionaires in boardrooms for themselves and their overseas shareholders, and what they want, is being delivered through our state and federal parliaments.

The mining industry has become so powerful that the lines between business and politics have become blurred to the detriment of people and the well being of our society. [Read more...]