Swan knew of royalties hike: opposition



The opposition is claiming federal Treasurer Wayne Swan knew of plans by the West Australian government to increase mining royalties before he helped negotiate a tax deal with three of Australia’s biggest miners.

The federal government has warned WA that it will be worse off financially following a state budget decision to increase the royalties on a type of iron ore called fines.

The commonwealth is facing the prospect of having to offset the increased state royalties against its own minerals resource rent tax (MRRT), depriving its own budget of up to $2 billion in revenue.

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The opposition’s junior treasury spokesman Mathias Cormann says Treasury documents warned of a potential royalty increase before it announced the original mining tax in May 2010.

“Mr Swan has only got himself to blame when it comes to this $2 billion black hole in his budget,” he said on Tuesday.

“Mr Swan knew of WA’s plans to increase royalties … well before he advised the prime minister to sign the MRRT deal with the three big miners.”


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