Originally published in On Line Opinion on May 25, 2010

The Minerals Council of Australia’s advertising campaign against the Resource Super Profits Tax (RSPT) highlights its $80 billion tax payments over the last decade. Eighty billion dollars in the abstract does not really mean much. It has to be related to the mining industry’s profits and compared with other industries. Using the national accounts as basis for Australian industry as a whole, the average tax rate paid by Australian business in the nine years since the Howard government introduced the New Tax System was 24 per cent. In comparison, the $80 billion tax contribution of the mining industry averages out at just 19 per cent.

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