Greens push for tax break for small business
Bob Brown will fire a substantial warning shot before the introduction of the mining tax package.
Bob Brown will fire a substantial warning shot before the introduction of the mining tax package. GREENS leader Bob Brown will today fire a substantial warning shot before the introduction of the mining tax package, declaring banks don't deserve a $4 billion tax break, but small business does.The Greens will today make it clear they want the big banks carved out of the 1 per cent corporate tax cut planned as part of the mining tax package, pitching a 5 per cent tax cut for small business instead.The Gillard government's intention has been to use revenue from the mining tax proposal to fund a 1 per cent cut in the corporate tax rate, tax relief for small business, increased superannuation contributions and new infrastructure. But with legislation for the troubled package finally reaching Parliament next week, crossbench kingmaker Tony Windsor has also thrown a last-minute spanner in the works.Mr Windsor yesterday linked his support for the mining tax package to a rolling fight between farmers and gas companies over contentious coal seam gas exploration.He said future mining tax revenue could fund expensive bioregional assessments before exploration proceeded. He told The Age yesterday support for the mining tax was conditional on his concerns being met, and the government ''needed to get off its arse'' on the issue.Mr Windsor said he had also rebuffed a last-ditch lobbying effort from Perth mining magnate Andrew ''Twiggy'' Forrest against the mining tax. Mr Forrest and his colleagues in the gas industry could ''get stuffed until they fix this''.Treasurer Wayne Swan spoke to all the critical lower house crossbenchers on Wednesday night. Treasury officials are expected to offer a detailed briefing on the package on Monday.Treasury figures to be released today forecast that the government's reform package would boost the superannuation savings of Victorians by $121 billion by 2035.The changes to depreciation proposed for small companies would provide tax relief for 710,000 Victorian small businesses. Mr Swan said the package was ''absolutely vital legislation'' because it would distribute the benefits of the mining boom more equitably across the economy.The Greens have telegraphed to the government their opposition to the corporate tax cuts, but Labor hasn't budged. With National Australia Bank yesterday posting a record full-year profit of $5.22 billion, the Greens will move an amendment to deprive the big four banks of their tax cut - and propose small business pay a 25 per cent tax rate instead.''The big four banks made over $20 billion in profits last year and are expecting even greater profits this year,'' Senator Brown said. ''Their four CEOs are raking in salaries between $7 and $16 million.''Small businesses are not finding it so easy.''It is not yet clear whether the resumption of Federal Parliament next week will see the full package introduced, or just the mining tax component.Small miners, opposed to the peace deal the Gillard government struck with the big three resources leaders to secure the proposed profits tax, have launched a strenuous last-ditch lobbying effort targeting lower house crossbenchers.Andrew Wilkie and Rob Oakeshott - votes the government is relying on to secure the package - are sounding restive before next week's parliamentary debate.Mr Swan said yesterday he would like the package through the lower house this year.