Mining tax pressure on Shorten

Bill Shorten is under fresh pressure from within the ALP to dispatch the mining tax from his policy arsenal amid claims the party is losing touch with "aspirational" West Australians.

Internal pressure is growing for the Opposition Leader and shadow cabinet to dump the tax, which has barely raised a cent since its introduction.

It is understood there is emerging support for Mr Shorten to vary the party's position once the new Senate moves to support the Government's Bill to abolish the tax.

The issue was raised in ALP caucus yesterday where it is understood Perth MP Alannah MacTiernan said the party's support for the tax should have been dumped ahead of the recent disastrous Senate election re-run.

She said the party needed to "translate the concept of aspiration directly" to WA voters.

State Labor leader Mark Mc- Gowan recently argued the party would have done better in the Senate election if not for the mining tax.

Mr Shorten said a discussion had been held within the party about the mining tax but it was still Labor's position to keep it.

That discussion, it is understood, was in October, well before it was known a special WA Senate election would be held.

However, the Government is likely to have the numbers in the new Senate to abolish the tax early next month.

There is growing support within Labor for shadow cabinet to then dump the mining tax completely, ruling out a reintroduction in a future ALP government.

But there are also some "comrades" who believe the ALP should stick with the tax unless there is no way it will raise revenue in the near term.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the mining and carbon taxes would be the first Bills sent to the Senate, where the Government will need to win over crossbench senators.

"I expect those toxic taxes to be gone and I expect them to be gone with the support of most of the crossbenchers," Mr Abbott said yesterday.

The West Australian

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