The Federal Government’s $158 billion three-stage tax cuts have been passed through the Parliament.
The Australasian Institute for Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) said the tax package will see significant tax relief to mining workers across the country.
The resources industry, which employs over 230,000 Australians, has traditionally had strong remuneration packages to attract the best talent to the industry. Research conducted by AusIMM in 2018 showed that over 75 per cent of survey respondents were earning upwards of $100,000 a year, including in many cases those in graduate and early career roles. Fifty per cent of survey respondents were earning over $150,000.
AusIMM CEO Stephen Durkin said this was in part due to the in-demand skills of professionals and the sometimes-challenging nature of fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) or remote work.
“Australia has some of the greatest professional expertise in the global resources industry, and this is recognised with competitive salaries that help fuel local economies, particularly in regional and remote communities,” said Mr Durkin.
AusIMM’s research showed that 75 per cent of respondents who were under thirty, and working full time, were earning between $100,000 and $250,000 per annum.
“Many of our graduate role salaries and workers under 30, are contributing their sought-after skills to a growing industry and saving for a housing deposit or paying off university loans.” said Mr Durkin.
Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME) CEO Paul Everingham welcomed the passage and said history has shown that countries with lower tax rates appeal to overseas investors and people.
“It’s all about Australia having a competitive economy. When we have a tax rate that means we can compete on a more equal footing with other countries, we’re more likely to attract investment and appeal to people who might consider living here,” said Mr Everingham.
However, according to a new Grattan Institute working paper, Budget blues: why the Stage 3 income tax cuts should wait, the Stage 3 cuts, scheduled to come into effect in 2024-25, will cost the budget $85 billion over the subsequent six years. It is hard to know now whether these cuts are affordable or the right size and shape for the economy so far into the future.
“The economy is softening, the budget position is weakening, and calls for the Government to use fiscal policy to stimulate the economy are growing,” says Grattan Institute’s Budget Policy Program Director Danielle Wood.
“There are big risks from locking in major tax cuts on the never-never.”
The institute says the Government would have to substantially reduce growth in spending to deliver both the Stage 3 tax cuts and promised surpluses, particularly if the economy worsens.
By contrast, the Grattan Institute says the temporary and targeted Stage 1 tax cuts are well timed to boost consumer spending and economic activity at a time when inflation is virtually non-existent, the labour market is weakening, new building approvals are drying up, and per person living standards have gone backwards for three consecutive quarters. The Stage 2 cuts will also help most Australians by giving back bracket creep and are likely to be affordable.