Mixed views on mining taxes

I had thought that the proposed resource super profits tax might be a political winner for the government, in a soak the rich sort of way. But this morning’s Nielsen poll reported in the Fairfax broadsheets suggested rather lukewarm support:

In a question which asked ‘Do you support or oppose a tax on the ‘super profits’ of mining companies?’, 47% were against and 44% were in favour. In this poll support for the ‘big new tax’ on shareholders in mining companies remains 14 percentage points behind support for the ‘big new new tax’ on people without dependent children and higher-income earners, aka the ETS. As is often the case, closely linking a tax to something the public supports helps it politically.

However Essential Research found another 8% of the electorate in favour of ‘higher taxes on the profits of large mining companies’, 52% approve, 34% disapprove, with a question that seems less framed to get a positive response than Nielsen’s (without the implication that there is something unfair about ‘super profits’). Perhaps a preceding statement about the Henry review gave the proposal some added credibility.