Shorten says mining tax won't change
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CANBERRA, Feb 12 AAP
February 12 2013, 1:28PM
Labor frontbencher Bill Shorten says he's unaware of any government plans to change the mining tax but has declined to say whether it is generating enough revenue.
Former prime minister Kevin Rudd says the mining tax hasn't collected "any real revenue of any significance" and the key figure behind its design was Treasurer Wayne Swan.
Crossbench MPs are urging the federal government to close loopholes in the minerals resource rent tax (MRRT), including miners' ability to offset state royalties against their MRRT liabilities.
The issue is being discussed with the states in the context of a GST revenue distribution review.
Mr Shorten said he was not "aware of any plans" to change the MRRT, but he did not directly answer questions about whether it was raising enough revenue.
"I've always supported having a mining resources rent tax and I believe the one we have is the one we must stick to for the foreseeable future," he told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.
Asked whether he blamed Mr Swan for the flaws in the design of the tax, Mr Shorten said: "I wasn't in the cabinet at the time the taxes were designed. I wasn't in the expenditure review committee".
Mr Shorten did say he supported the initiatives the MRRT would help fund, including axing the tax on superannuation for the low-paid.
"What I am determined to do is to ... make sure in an election year the government offers a positive vision of the future, the creation of good jobs, the maintenance of fair work relations, and to make sure low-income earners don't have a new superannuation tax slapped on them," he said.