Cheering developments today show the force of numbers in the debate over the Resource Super Profits Mining Tax:
As the Treasurer implored the mining industry to drop its “rhetoric and threats” and negotiate with the government, his weekend claim that miners pay effective tax rates of between 13 and 17 per cent was torpedoed by tax office figures produced by the opposition.
The ATO data said miners paid an effective rate of 27.8 per cent, which rose to 41.3 per cent with the inclusion of state royalties.
The opposition also sought to undermine the source of Mr Swan’s claims – a paper from the US National Bureau of Economic Research written partly by a graduate student at the North Carolina University whose international comparison lumped Australia and New Zealand together.
The Coalition attacked the research, by PhD student Kevin Markle and professor Douglas Shackelford, as “the shonkiest piece of work”.
Professor Shackelford said:
“[T]he paper is a draft form and likely will undergo additional revision before publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Moreover, the paper’s usefulness in formulating policy for one sector in one country should not be overstated.
In the updated version of the paper, the researchers removed references to mining companies paying an effective tax rate of just 13 to 17 per cent.