19 Jan 2013

Australian govt pressured to reveal mining tax take

4:45 pm on 19 January 2013

The Australian government is under pressure to reveal how much revenue the mining tax has raised despite insisting it would be illegal to do so.

The opposotion coalition plans to move a motion in the Senate when Parliament returns next month, demanding that the Tax Office provide the Senate economics committee with details of revenue collected from the tax.

The Greens have also written to Prime Minister Julia Gillard, reminding her of a commitment to release the details by January 31.

The Australian reported on Monday that the minerals resource rent tax did not produce any revenue for a second consecutive quarter.

This prompted the coalition to demand the Government release details of revenue collections.

The ABC reports that Treasury has advised the Government that releasing the data would breach privacy provisions in the Taxation Administration Act.

But shadow assistant treasurer Mathias Cormann says he has since received advice from the Clerk of the Senate which shows that the privacy provisions in the tax laws do not prevent the information being provided to Parliament.

Mr Cormann told the ABC that keeping tax revenue collections secret was ridiculous.

''The people of Australia are entitled to know whether the mining tax has raised any revenue at all, and if so how much," he said.

Ms Gillard negotiated the tax with BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata soon after she took over from Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister.