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Australian Treasurer admits gov't underestimated impact of dumped mining tax

07-15-2010 10:23 BJT

CANBERRA, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Australian Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan on Thursday admitted the government's dumped super profits tax would have slugged the mining sector 24 billion dollars (21.1 billion U.S. dollars), double the amount the Treasury originally estimated in May.

But he reiterated it was the government's intention only ever to raise 12 billion dollars (10.55 billion U.S. dollars).

Swan defended new Treasury figures, which he released on Wednesday, showing the revenue impact of the resource super profits tax had been greatly underestimated.

The figures also revealed the government had given the industry 7.5 billion dollars (6.6 billion U.S. dollars) in concessions as it negotiated a new minerals resource rent tax.

The new tax will raise 10.5 billion dollars (9.23 billion U.S. dollars) in its first two years on the back of revised estimates for commodity prices and production.

Swan dismissed as "hypothetical" suggestions the super profits tax would have raised double the amount originally estimated.

"It was never the government's intention to raise a lot more money than 12 billion dollars (10.55 billion U.S. dollars)," Swan told ABC Radio on Thursday.

But when asked whether the tax would have raised twice as much, Swan said: "On the new (commodity) prices, that is true."

"But the fact is that we didn't set out to raise twice as much as we put before the Australian people," Swan said.

"We didn't set out to do that."

Swan said the government was raising a "reasonable" amount of money from the new tax.

Leading economic forecaster Chris Richardson also backed the Treasury figures, saying they were based on the best available information.

The hardest single part of forecasting was making a call on commodities prices, the Access Economics director said.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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