The Budget papers show that despite the oil and gas industry making vast profits the federal government is not planning to increase how much tax it pays.
The petroleum tax revenue (PRRT) has been revised up by a comparatively trivial $200 million to $2.6 billion representing a mere 2.5% of the sector’s total revenue for the next financial year. Over the longer term, budget papers forecast a decrease of $450 million in PRRT revenue over the forward estimates to 2025-26.
High global gas prices mean Australian electricity bills are expected to increase by 56% over the next 18 months. In contrast the Norwegian Ministry of Finance, which taxes oil and gas profits at 78%, estimates that total government revenue from their petroleum sector will be staggering AU $208 billion in 2023. That’s over A$200 billion of public money going to a population about the size of Melbourne or $38,000 for every Norwegian in 2023.
Recent Australia Institute analysis estimates windfall profits for the Australian oil and gas sector of $26-$40 billion in FY2021-22. The Department of Industry, Science and Resources estimates that the sector’s revenue from Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) and oil exports will increase from $84 billion in FY2021-22 to $105 billion to FY2022-23. Despite the massive increase in profits the Australian public is set to receive a paltry share from the sale of natural resources that ultimately belong to them.
The government has repeatedly stated that it has no intentions of fixing the problems with Australia’s broken petroleum tax. In the meantime, Australians get higher gas and power prices while gas companies enjoy higher profits.