Tag Archives: class warfare

Swan’s Tax Avoidance Scheme

13 Feb

Quelle surprise!

A stunning revelation emerges.

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

Miners hoard credits to avoid resources tax

Mining companies Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton have built up a combined arsenal of $1.7 billion in tax credits that can be offset against future mining tax liabilities.

Exactly as predicted here on this blog, way back in December 2011 (GilSwan Conned – Mining Tax The Greens’ Pit of Despair)

Note well how the “progressive” (ie, international socialist) SMH follows the ALP (ie, international socialist) party line, by immediately switching the focus of this awful tale of inequity away from international companies, and onto an evil billionaire “Tall Poppy”.

Local Aussie miner, Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest:

And billionaire miner Andrew Forrest confirmed to Fairfax Media that his iron ore company, Fortescue Metals, would not be paying any tax under the Gillard government’s minerals resource rent tax this year.

Mr Forrest, who challenged Treasurer Wayne Swan’s claim that the tax would still raise billions in revenue for the government after being watered down during [exclusive] negotiations [by Gillard and Swan] with [foreign-owned multinational giants] Rio, BHP and Xstrata, appears to have been vindicated after Mr Swan’s admission that the tax has net a paltry $126 million in the six months to December 31.

”The record stands for itself,” Mr Forrest said.

And to make sure you do not miss the underlying propaganda message – that the real “evil” here is your fellow Aussie-made-good entrepreneur – the SMH chooses to headline the article with a photo of Mr Forrest.Not with one of the foreign-owned BHP, RIO, or Xstrata chief executives.

Wayne Swan would be pleased (The Galactic Hypocrisy of Wayne Swan ; Swan’s Anti-Australian Rant A Smokescreen For Treason).

While the focus has been on the dramatic shortfall in mining tax collections compared to original Treasury projections of more than $10 billion over four years, the most recent financial accounts of Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton show the two miners have built up $1.1 billion and $637 million in tax credits respectively.

The credits did not reduce the amount of company income tax they had to pay, but can be carried forward to offset future mining tax liabilities.

Just as predicted here.

Speaking of credit, we should give credit to the SMH for devoting one (1) whole paragraph to a misleading and deceptive recognition of the fact that the vomitous Wayne Swan singled out Aussie miners like Twiggy Forrest for exclusive vilification while belching out his galactically hypocritical smokescreen for treason:

Mr Forrest’s recent MRRT brawl with the government has seen him subjected to criticism from Mr Swan – part of which was his inclusion in the ”badly behaving billionaires” club that included Clive Palmer and Gina Rinehart. Sources have said that Mr Swan included Mr Forrest as a member of the billionaires in an essay in The Monthly – against the urging of his advisers.

Misleading and deceptive?

Yes.

In seeking to further the progressive (internationalist) agenda – in this case, through minimising damage to the PR image of huge multinational oligopolies, while enabling damage to the public image of successful local/national enterprises by invoking “Tall Poppy” syndrome – the SMH propagates the old revolutionary socialist strategy of “class warfare”.  And conveniently neglects to inform readers of the full picture.

You have to find that, at blogs like this.

Indeed, you have to read right down to the last two paragraphs of the SMH article to gain even an inkling of the truth – though of course, it is still not explicitly spelled out:

The major mining companies are loath to talk about the tax that they negotiated with the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and Mr Swan. They have kept their heads below the parapet this week as Mr Swan has been in the firing line.

The government has responded to the attack by suggesting various changes to the tax but the prospect of a big overhaul before the election is unlikely. The campaign by BHP, Rio and Xstrata that led to the super profits tax being replaced with the more benign MRRT was so potent that Ms Gillard will not take them on again over the next seven months.

Remember, the article is headlined with a generic “Miners hoard credits…” title.  And a photo of Aussie miner, Twiggy Forrest.

Only the fully alert and informed reader, one who knows that BHP, RIO, and Xstrata are majority foreign-owned multinational giants, is likely to note the above bolded words at the very end.

And possibly, just possibly, have a dawning realisation that something fishy … something against the best interests of Australians … is the real truth behind this story.

UPDATE:

Too late, Independent Andrew Wilkie wakes up and smells the coffee; says Andrew Forrest was right –

Mr Wilkie told Fairfax Media that he had been wrong to believe Treasury predictions of company liabilities under the renegotiated tax instead of the alternative arguments put forward at the time by Mr Forrest.

Mr Forrest had complained that the compromise to allow miners to write off the long-term value of assets from their mining tax liabilities had allowed the big three miners off the hook.

It is beyond argument that the government was wrong, is wrong, and Andrew Forrest is right,” he said.

For readers who have not read my earlier posts on this topic, the key point to understand from the above is this: A major reason why the redesigned mining tax favours the multinationals – unsurprising, since they designed it, in secret, with Gillard and Swan – is that the Big 3 miners have vast existing assets. Their redesigned tax allows them to write off the “market value” of their existing projects, and thus claim credits against any MRRT liabilities.

UPDATE 2:

Via Andrew Bolt’s blog:

Wayne Swan specialises on perhaps this government’s defining characteristic – to meet argument with personal abuse. And there is no fouler example than this – Swan accusing miner Twiggy Forrest in 2011 of being a tax dodger for warning of exactly the flaw that has made Swan’s mining tax a colossal flop:

Wayne Swan has accused mining magnate Andrew ‘’Twiggy’’ Forrest of trying to avoid paying tax, describing as ‘’bunkum’’ new analysis suggesting the world’s biggest miners would get a free ride under Labor’s mining tax..

Mr Forrest said new analysis by accounting firm BDO revealed Treasury forecasts of an $11 billion budget boost from the MRRT were an ‘’absolute fiction’’.

He said tax would allow the world’s biggest miners to wipe out Australia’s smallest because of the huge deductions available for the industry’s biggest players

EXACTLY what I argued back in 2011. A mining tax, designed by the Big 3 foreign-owned multinationals, behind closed doors, with the local miners locked out, in cahoots with the traitorous Gillard and Swan, one that enables the Big 3 to increase their oligopoly over the Australian mining industry, at the expense of far smaller, locally-owned competitors.

And claim tax credits and deductions for doing so.

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Better Late Than Never: Hartcher’s Conscience Jarred

11 Mar

At last, a journalist from the lamestream media spots the galactic hypocrisy in Wayne Swan’s rants against 3 local miners.

Without actually calling it that, of course (emphasis added):

Swan’s pronouncements strike a jarring note, for three reasons. First, the contemporary playbook for “vested interest” campaigning was written not by the miners but by the unions.

It was the ACTU’s campaign against Howard’s Work Choices that established the power of an aggressive third-party thrust into politics. The union movement’s $30 million Your Rights at Work campaign discredited Work Choices, forced the Howard government into retreat and, finally, helped destroy the Coalition government. In the final humiliation, it even contributed to Howard’s loss of his seat of Bennelong. Swan was a beneficiary of this campaign.

Second, the miners that Swan demonised are not the miners that successfully emasculated his original mining tax. It was BHP Billiton, Rio and Xstrata that aggressively campaigned against the tax and funded its $22 million worth of lobbying and advertising, and it was Twiggy Forrest who went into private negotiations with Kevin Rudd to try to reach a compromise on the tax.

It was the three multinationals that helped discredit the Rudd government, accelerated Rudd’s downfall and forced the Gillard government to come to terms. Yet Swan does not mention these three multinationals in his critique of vested interests. Swan does not criticise the “vested interests” to whom he capitulated but the ones who were shut out of the negotiations. He is, in effect, punishing them for continuing to complain about a special deal to which he would not admit them.

The rest of Fairfax political editor Peter Hartcher’s article is well worth reading too. Even if it does continue to refrain from calling a spade a spade.

A little tip, Peter. That “jarring note” you feel, is called your Conscience.

The polar opposition between Wayne’s words, and his actions, pricks the inner sense of right and wrong once known as “morality” that we all possess, but few (especially politicians, and journalists) ever seem to recognise. Much less heed. And even less … act upon.

For the full story on Wayne Swan’s hypocrisy … and treason … not just on the mining tax, but on the carbon dioxide derivatives scam too, see this blog’s writeup of almost a week earlier – The Galactic Hypocrisy Of Wayne Swan.

The Galactic Hypocrisy Of Wayne Swan

6 Mar

The red mist has descended.

Your humble blogger is angry.

Very angry.

Wayne Swan has publicly attacked three local, homegrown Aussie miners.

Ms Gina Rinehart. Mr Clive Palmer. And Mr Andrew Forrest.

Wayne claims that he is fighting for a “fair go”, for “equality”, against “rich” “vested interests” that are “threatening our democracy”.

Oh really?

Wayne Swan did a secret, exclusive deal on the design of the mining tax with the Big Three foreign-owned multinational mining companies, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, and Xstrata, just before the 2010 election.

Wayne’s secret deal is widely claimed to favour the Big Three foreigners, at the expense of the much smaller local Aussie mining companies.

Wayne’s secret deal is alleged to have come about after the Big Three foreign-owned mining companies “gave the nod” for Julia Gillard to knife democratically-elected PM Kevin Rudd, and promised to pull their anti-mining tax ad campaign.

Tell us again, who is a “threat to democracy”?

Wayne Swan accuses three local Aussie miners – two of whom are self-made, from humble beginnings – of being “champions of privilege”.

Oh really?

Wayne is a career political hack, with an Arts degree, and zero business experience.

Wayne receives $346,000 per annum, $6,653 per week, paid for by the taxpayer.

Wayne voted himself an $84,000 pay rise late last year.

Wayne blew $75,440 of taxpayers’ money on empty RAAF VIP “ghost flights” to collect and ferry him around, in just 6 months last year.

Tell us again, who is a “champion of privilege”?

Wayne Swan is a vile, disgusting, public trough-swilling, grossly overpaid, thoroughly under qualified, pathologically dishonest, monumentally repugnant, morally destitute, vomitous, self-serving, bottom-dwelling, anti-Australian, treasonous, galactic hypocrite.

* I have chosen to keep this piece focussed on Swan and his attack on locals in the mining industry. I could write an entire new piece on other “vested interests” that Wayne oh so conveniently neglects to mention, much less publicly attack. For example, the unions who finance (and rule) the ALP, and the clubs industry whose “power” and political activism prompted the Labor government to brazenly renege on a written contract with Andrew Wilkie for poker machine reform. And that’s just for starters.

** The media in this country are deserving of very similar epithets to those attributed to Wayne Swan above. I am not aware that a single journalist has challenged Wayne Swan on any of the above facts.

*** Note well: this blogger is no fawning acolyte of miners, big business, or “free markets”. On the contrary, if it were within my power I would nationalise all mineral, petroleum, and natural gas resources – see “Why I Hang Farther To The Left Than Bob Brown”.

Swan’s Anti-Australian Rant A Smokescreen For Treason

2 Mar

Treasurer Wayne Swan has written an essay in The Monthly. Doubtless you will hear about it elsewhere.

What you are highly unlikely to hear, is Wayne’s essay being called out for what it really is.

An anti-Australian rant. And a smokescreen for treason.

How so?

Consider Wayne’s definitive paragraph:

But Australia’s fair go is today under threat from a new source. To be blunt, the rising power of vested interests is undermining our equality and threatening our democracy. We see this most obviously in the ferocious and highly misleading campaigns waged in recent years against resource taxation reforms and the pricing of carbon pollution. The infamous billionaires’ protest against the mining tax would have been laughed out of town in the Australia I grew up in, and yet it received a wide and favourable reception two years ago. A handful of vested interests that have pocketed a disproportionate share of the nation’s economic success now feel they have a right to shape Australia’s future to satisfy their own self-interest.

Note well.

Wayne uses his essay to single out and publicly attack three (3) Australian citizens.

All wealthy miners.

All … how shall I put this delicately … of ordinary physical appearance.

Or less delicately … fat and ugly.

Here is the photo used for the piece:

Billionaire activists: Clive Palmer, Andrew Forrest and Gina Rinehart. © Philip Norrish/Newspix; Greg Wood/AAP; Tony McDonough/AAP

Wayne has singled out this Terrible Three as somehow exemplifying the dangers of “vested interests”, a threat to “democracy” and “equality”.

Conveniently, Wayne neglects to mention a few relevant facts.

A lot of relevant facts, actually.

He neglects to mention that he and Gillard locked these 3 Aussies-made-good out of the behind-closed-doors negotiation of his “mining tax”, and that instead, he negotiated the design of the MRRT exclusively and confidentially with BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, and Xstrata – the Big Three multinational mining companies.

He neglects to mention that the final design of the MRRT favours the foreign-owned multinationalsquelle surprise! – and that it will in reality act as a tax minimisation mechanism that will not “spread the wealth of the mining boom”, but will instead help the multinationals to increase their oligopoly, at the expense of much smaller Aussie locals like Palmer, Forrest, and Rinehart.

(Do you think that just might have something to do with their choosing to become “activists” against this government’s policy agenda?)

And the carbon tax “vested interests”?

Again, Wayne very conveniently neglects to mention a few highly relevant facts.

He neglects to mention that the Green-Labor government’s anointed chief “designer” of the Clean Energy Future legislation, Ross Garnaut, is a career Big Banker and a member of the Trilateral Commission.

He neglects to mention that the choirmaster for the “eminent economists” who publicly sang in favour of the legislation, Saul Eslake, was at the time the director of the BHP Billiton-founded and funded Grattan Institute; the former chief economist for ANZ Bank; and is now employed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch – a major player in the international CO2 derivatives trade.

He neglects to mention that Mr Eslake conceded (right here on this blog) that 7 of the 13 “eminent economists” who co-signed the Open Letter in support of the government’s plan to “price carbon” were current employees of banks; that 3 more were former employees of banks; and that only 3 of the 13 had no past or present associations with banks “as far as I know”.

He neglects to mention that Mr Eslake conceded (right here on this blog) that “..it is true that banks might make money from an emissions trading scheme..”.

He neglects to mention that just 3 days after the announcement of the draft legislation, leading banks were already announcing plans to cash in via a new carbon derivatives market, one specifically allowed by two tiny clauses buried in the 1,000 pages of legislation; a new market whose value (to banks) would, in their words, “dwarf” the value of the underlying market for basic carbon permits.

He neglects to mention other “vested interests” in our society too – like the unions who finance and rule his own party, and the banks who our major political parties rely on for loans to finance their election campaigns. Conflict-of-(vested)-interest, much?

Wayne has cynically picked out three easy targets to attack, in his class warfare-inciting rant.

Three fat, unattractive, wealthy, Australian Tall Poppies*.

Wayne has conveniently neglected to mention his own appalling hypocrisy.

And his treason.

Because when it comes to Green-Labor’s two big “economic reforms”, loudly touted as being in the “interests of all Australians”, the truth is that Wayne is personally culpable for selling out the financial best interests of the Australian people to multinational miners, and Big Finance.

Foreign-owned “vested interests”, whose wealth and power make our homegrown Ms Rinehart, Mr Palmer, and Mr Forrest appear mere paupers by comparison.

Treasurer Wayne Swan is a cynical, dishonest, anti-Australian, treasonous hypocrite of the lowest order. A disgrace to morally sentient beings.

He revolts me.

UPDATE:

It is alleged that the Big Three multinationals approved the plot to remove elected PM Kevin Rudd (and with him, the original RSPT):

JULIA Gillard was “given the nod” by the big three mining companies — Xstrata, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton—to challenge Kevin Rudd’s prime ministership, knowing the advertising campaign against the mining tax “would be pulled”.

… The revelations come from an article written by Mr Rudd’s friend and actor Rhys Muldoon, published in the latest issue of The Monthly magazine.

Immediately after the coup, Wayne and new PM Julia went behind closed doors with the Big 3 – and only the Big 3 – and quickly locked in a new deal before the election. One that the Big 3 foreigners are “happy with”.

And yet, Wayne Swan has the unmitigated gall to author a rant singling out and publicly vilifying 3 of our homegrown Aussie miners as the “dangerous” “vested interests” threatening our democracy?!

To paraphrase Thomas Beckett:

Will no one rid me of this turdulent Treasurer?

* My sincere apologies for the use of wholly unfair and brutal artistic licence to Ms Rinehart, Mr Palmer, and Mr Forrest, whom I’ve never met and have no reason to doubt are hard working, decent Australians.

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