Oakeshott wants mining tax changed
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CANBERRA, Feb 8 AAP
February 08 2013, 3:12PM
Independent MP Rob Oakeshott says the federal government needs to reopen talks with the states and crossbench MPs and amend its mining tax legislation.
Treasurer Wayne Swan revealed on Friday the minerals resource rent tax (MRRT) had raised just $126 million in revenue over the past six months - far short of the $2 billion forecast for the full financial year.
Mr Oakeshott said he was glad to see the detail, after repeated requests for information.
"What the figure reveals, now clearly shows to all, is there is unfinished business and there are some structural issues that need to be addressed," Mr Oakeshott told AAP.
"The parliament, the government and the broader community needs to have the bottle to fix it."
The NSW MP also said he would support a Greens private member's bill, due to go before parliament on Monday, to overturn the tax deductibility of state mining royalties.
But Mr Oakeshott said while the Greens' bill had merit, it would be better if the government resolved issues with the tax by negotiation.
"There is some urgency about delivering on the very point of the exercise and moving from a bad state tax to a good and sensible national tax," he said.
"If they are serious about the rhetoric of spreading the benefits of the boom, well, there is not much spreading going on in the current figures."
He said while the MRRT revenue figure was low, he did not believe there was any risk to programs funded by the tax.
Mr Oakeshott said he would discuss the tax with Mr Swan at his regular briefing next week.
Fellow independent MP Tony Windsor declined to comment in detail, telling AAP, "I am pleased to see that the figure has been released."