SYDNEY Feb 8 Australia's Minerals Resource Rent
Tax (MRRT) raised A$126 million ($131 million) in its first six
months of existence, far below what the government had hoped to
Treasurer Wayne Swan made the announcement in a statement on
Friday, breaking a long silence on how much the hard-fought tax
had actually raised.
In the budget last June, Treasury had first forecast that
the tax on the super profits of iron ore and coal miners would
make A$3 billion over the full fiscal year to end June 2013. It
had also hoped to raise a total of A$9.7 billion in its first
"It's clear revenues from resource rent taxes have taken a
massive hit from the impact of continued global instability,
commodity price volatility and a high dollar," said Swan.
"Revenues across the board are down very substantially -
MRRT is a profits-based tax that raises more revenue when
profits are higher and less when they are lower."
Mining profits were hit late last year when prices for iron
ore and coal, two of Australia's biggest export earners, fell
sharply. Prices for the steel making mineral have since
recovered all their losses to reach 14-month highs, though coal
prices have lagged well behind.
The tax was fiercely opposed by many miners and by the
Liberal National opposition, which claimed it would badly hurt
The hit to tax revenues has been so severe that the Labor
government has had to renege on a pledge to balance its budget
in 2012/13, a politically embarrassing move in what is an
(Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Kim Coghill)