The Federal Government has passed its controversial Mining Resources Rent Tax (MRRT) through the Senate, paving the way for tax to become law.

 

Despite constant attempts by the Federal Opposition to delay its passage, the Federal Government secured the crucial support of the Greens in passing the legislation, who backed the tax despite arguing it was too weakened by changes. The Greens claimed the tax was too watered down in it only applying to coal and iron ore, and that the connected tax cuts should only be extended to small businesses, rather than the whole business community.

 

The passage of the tax will clear the way for the Federal Government to introduce its tax cuts for business, which will see company tax rates fall from 30 per cent to 29 per cent.

 

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan were delighted with the legislation’s passage, with Mr Swan describing it as the “huge economic reform of our time”.

 

"[It] will help us deliver more super savings for 8.4m ppl (sic), tax breaks for 2.7m small businesses and a company tax cut," Mr Swan wrote on Twitter.

 

In addition, the Federal Government will use the $10 billion it will raise over the next three years to push the country’s superannuation contribution levels from 9 per cent to 12 per cent.

 

Despite its passage, dispute surrounding the legislation is rife. With mining magnate Clive Palmer vowing to take the Government to the High Court in a bid to have the tax ruled unconstitutional.

 

The Federal Opposition has also vowed to repeal the tax if it wins government in next year’s election.