Poll support for Grylls’ tax
Brendon Grylls’ radical election policy of hitting BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto with a new mining tax has almost 50 per cent more supporters than detractors, polling by The West
Australian reveals. The survey of more than 1700 West Australian voters across the State by ReachTEL last week recorded support for the policy at 45.4 per cent, with 31.5 per cent opposed and 23.1 per cent undecided.
Mr Grylls last month staked his return to the Nationals leadership and the party’s electoral fortunes next year on an ambitious plan to increase the per-tonne production rental paid by the mining giants from 25 cents to $5.
The policy has been criticised as a job-destroying, confidence-sapping sovereign risk by the Nationals’ alliance partners the Liberal Party, as well as Labor and the mining lobby.
Mr Grylls argues that in the absence of a firm plan to address WA’s dismal GST share, the State will need a hefty new revenue source to avoid big cuts to government programs or taxing “mums, dads and pensioners” to return the Budget to surplus.
BHP has warned its employees that the policy puts their jobs at risk.
Rio Tinto has ranked it the company’s number one global risk.
The companies’ concern is likely to be deepened by the poll, which shows particularly big support from males (52.1 per cent) and young voters aged 18 to 34 (50.9 per cent in favour).
Labor leader Mark McGowan has categorically ruled out supporting the plan and Premier Colin Barnett has refused to declare the policy a deal-breaker in any future alliance with the Nationals.
Mr Grylls said the figures reflected a strong sentiment in favour of the argument that “if mums and dads have to pay more, then the mining sector should, too”.
Brendon Grylls wants to increase taxes on big miners.