The Shadow Treasurer Dr Steve Thomas has today pointed out that the iron ore price remains high and the cash continues to roll into the Government’s coffers.
“Questions in Parliament this week have revealed that the average iron ore price this financial year has been US$137 a tonne, a price that has been quite resilient” Dr Thomas said.
“Given the Government only expected it to be US$121 a tonne, iron ore royalties will be worth an additional $1.3 billion to the Government at least if the price stays up.”
“Yesterday the iron ore price was US$139.70.”
“The impact of the high prices is that the expected budget surplus would rise from $2.8 billion to $4 billion for the current 2021-22 financial year.”
Dr Thomas said that with this embarrassment of wealth the Government could afford to be far more generous to businesses impacted by the Government’s COVID restrictions and border closure.
“The Government handed out $77 million last week to impacted businesses, which equates to three weeks of above expected and budgeted iron ore royalties”.
“It can hardly be described as generous, but it is obvious that Premier McGowan is more interested in playing with his wealth like Scrooge McDuck in his money bin than fixing the state’s issues.”
“I have long since stopped expecting Mr McGowan to use his unbudgeted wealth to reform the economy of Western Australia, like reforming taxes that hurt businesses like payroll tax.”
“But if he won’t do that, he can afford to give proper and adequate compensation to the businesses he has hurt with his constantly changing and difficult to manage rules.”
“And if he can’t be bothered even doing that, he must provide the clarity, certainty and consistency that business and industry has been screaming out for.”
“Or is that also too much to ask?”