Friday, June 11, 2010

Australian PM announces more spending over mine tax

SYDNEY: Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced A$2 billion (US$1.70 billion) in infrastructure spending in the resource state Queensland on Friday, June 11, bringing to A$4 billion spending aimed at placating opposition to his mining tax.

More than $20 billion of new resource investment in Australia has already been shelved by global miners due to the 40% "super profits" tax, expected in 2012, and Rudd is losing voter support over the tax ahead of elections expected in October.

"More infrastructure money ' just for mining towns and communities," said Rudd in a statement identical to one announcing A$2 billion for the mining state of Western Australia state earlier in the week.

Rudd denied talk on Friday of a swift deal with miners over his controversial tax, as global miner BHP Billiton rejected a rumoured tax compromise affecting the nation's top export sector.

The reports of a quick deal lifted mining stocks in London, with shares in BHP Billiton, the world's biggest miner, Rio Tinto and Xstrata surging as much as 4.3%, outperforming a 0.9% rise in the FTSE 100 index. ' Reuters

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