Lessons from the Recent Resource Rent Tax Experience in Australia
23 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2012 Last revised: 8 Feb 2012
Date Written: January 18, 2012
This paper argues that the left must be involved in tax debates and controversies to provide an alternative analysis to the neoliberalism and neoliberal Keynesianism that pervades tax discussion and expresses the interests of the ruling elite. This should be, not as part of speaking power’s truth, but as part of the wider struggle against an undemocratic and exploitative system. To explore this further the paper looks at the recent experience in Australia of the Labor Government’s attempts to introduce a Resource Super Profits Tax (RSPT). It argues that tax policy and tax law are a reflection of the balance of class forces and their combativeness at any time in any given society. The paper examines the changing nature of social democracy in Australia and the possibility that, in light of the Labor Government’s back down over the RSPT, Labor now rules for specific sections of capital rather than capital in general. The paper argues that the left should be involved in the debates and battles over tax and tax policy as part of the wider struggle for a new society in which production is organized democratically to satisfy human need.
Keywords: tax, tax law, resource rent tax
JEL Classification: H20
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation