Within the last year alone, there has been a 20% increase in BHP Billiton’s Western Australian iron ore exports. In spite of this enormous growth, the company only paid US$29m in minerals resource rent tax (MRRT). As it stands, the tax is in no way making BHP uncompetitive – its bumper profits are a testament to that.
While mining companies such as BHP Billiton are making a motza, we need to be reminded that 83% of Australian mining operations are foreign owned. The net income balance – the difference between the profits of Australian investing overseas, and profits made by foreign companies in Australia – has suffered as a result of mining companies extracting greater amounts of Australian mineral wealth for foreign owners.
Unlike Australia, Norway has kept their resource extraction wealth in their control without it fattening up a capitalist exploiting of finite mineral resources. Norway has a 78% tax on oil and gas revenues – unlike Australia, where the effective tax rate is a mere 13%. Read article