Mining magnate Clive Palmer is angry the federal government is using his money to fund a “campaign of disinformation” about its proposed new resources tax.
Labor wants to implement a 40 per cent tax on mining super profits to pay for business tax cuts and new infrastructure.
In a bid to spruik the plan – unpopular with industry – it has bypassed the normal vetting requirements for government advertising and developed a $38.5 million campaign blitz.
Mr Palmer slammed the move, which Treasurer Wayne Swan says is designed to clear up myths about the tax.
“The treasurer is presiding over a scandalous situation where he’s taking my money, and taxpayers money, to start a campaign of disinformation,” he told Network Ten on Sunday.
“The only people lying is the government.”
Mr Palmer said Labor’s argument that the tax revenue would help pay for vital infrastructure, particularly in mining districts, was disingenuous.
“$700 million of infrastructure from this tax around Australia – whoopee – that won’t pay the cost of the upgrade of the Gold Coast to Brisbane freeway,” he said.
“So where’s the money going to?
“To all the money that Labor’s lost since they’ve been elected … to plug our debt.”
Mr Palmer warned future investment in the mining sector would diminish, as would jobs, if the tax was enforced.
“Mums and dads all over Australia will become unemployed, they won’t have the money to buy Christmas presents for their kids, they’ll be out on the street,” he said.
“No one believes that taxation creates more jobs, otherwise the government may as well sit in Canberra and just issue taxes all day.”
Mr Palmer said the actual rate of tax on the mining industry was 30 per cent, not the 13 per cent Mr Swan has suggested.
“If he can’t collect the other 17 per cent as treasurer, he should resign because he’s incompetent, and that’s a compliance matter,” he said.