Swan: Mining ad campaign ‘a Liberal front’

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Relaunched advertising campaigns against the government’s proposed resources tax have the Liberal Party’s fingerprints all over them, Treasurer Wayne Swan says.

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It was clear the campaigns by the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC), The United Retail Federation and chambers of commerce had a partisan political purpose, Mr Swan said on Tuesday.

The campaigns were regrettable after the government had made significant changes to the original tax proposal and was genuinely consulting with smaller mining companies, he told reporters in Perth.

“What is clear now is some of the associations who are part of this advertising campaign have very clear links with the Liberal Party.

“I think it’s fair to say that this advertising campaign has the Liberal Party’s fingerprints all over it.”

Mr Swan said it was “incredible” that organisations such as The United Retail Federation and Queensland’s chamber of commerce could be mounting campaigns against a tax they did not pay.

“At the same time, the Liberal Party has a proposal to increase company taxation by 1.7 per cent and they say nothing.

“This indicates that from these organisations, particularly from my home state, this is nothing more than a front for the Liberal Party,” The Queensland MP said.

The Liberal Party associations of two of those organisations were very clear, Mr Swan said.

“One has been a Senate candidate and one has tried for pre-selection on many occasions.”

Mr Swan said Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s “Coles and Woolies tax” – putting up company tax by 1.7 per cent to fund a parental leave scheme – would push up inflation and cost the average family $355 a year.

The Labor government, meanwhile, would cut company tax rates for small businesses, he said.

Mr Abbott had been caught out with his costings on the Liberals’ paid parental leave scheme, the treasurer said.

He said that when the costings for the scheme were done, it was on the basis of receiving full pay irrespective of gender.

“As it turns out, they have costed it on female rates of pay and therefore they have bungled the costings of this,” Mr Swan said.

“That just shows what a risk Mr Abbott is.”