The government has scored a victory in its effort to pass bills by the lower house to scrap the mining and carbon taxes.
Federal government MPs will focus their attention on scrapping the carbon tax after claiming a first-round victory in their other election promise to dump the mining tax.
In parliament’s lower house on Wednesday, Labor failed to prevent passage of the government’s Minerals Resource Rent Tax Repeal Bill, which ends the impost along with a raft of incentives to be funded by its revenue.
“This government has just voted to repeal support for the Australian families that need it most,” shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said.
A range of Labor policies face the axe under the bill, including the schoolkids bonus, the business loss carry-back, accelerated depreciation for motor vehicles, geothermal exploration provisions, the low-income superannuation contribution and the income support bonus.
The government argued that the 30 per cent impost on the super profits of coal and iron ore producers had failed to generate its forecast multibillion-dollar revenue, netting only $400 million since its introduction.
“Labor came out and said they were going to fund all these projects but … it was reliant on a flawed tax and there was never any money there,” Liberal MP Michael McCormack said.
“We can’t continue to spend money that isn’t there.”
Independent MP Andrew Wilkie made a last-ditch attempt to save the tax, suggesting it be “fixed” rather than dumped.
“What about expanding it to other resources? Expanding it to gold? Uranium? Instead of having it restricted to a very narrow set of resources,” he said, further suggesting that Australia’s big-four banks also be subject to a “super profits tax”.
The Tasmanian MP, along the Australian Greens’ Adam Bandt, sided with Labor for a vote on the bill, which they lost 86-55.
The bill will now be considered by the Senate, where the government lacks the numbers for swift passage.
In the meantime, the lower house will continue to debate the government’s proposed ditching of the carbon tax, with 11 associated bills set to go to a vote on Thursday afternoon.