This week’s backdown by the federal labor government on the Mineral Resource Rent Tax will cost Australian taxpayers $35 billion over the next ten years.

The shortfall in government revenues will be made up from taxes on work and taxes on business. 

That means it is coming out of your pocket.

You pay, because the miners threatened the government in a staggering display of ruthless corporate violence.  For their troubles, the foreign-owned miners pocket $35 billion.  Nice work if you can get it.

The $35 billion loss to revenues isn’t my figure.  The number comes from Goldman Sachs’ Australian mining analyst Hamish Tadgell, reported in today’s The Age.

The Resources Super Profits Tax was one of the five recommendations – out of 130 – of the Henry Tax Review taken up by the government.

But Dr Ken Henry told a Senate Committee on Monday he does not really mind that his recommendation was ditched.

“Believe it or not, not really or at least not much,” he said.

“The fact is, after 25 years of providing difficult and controversial… contentious advice to government, it is almost something of a surprise when something does get up.

“No, I was not particularly disappointed.”

Well I am.  I am disappointed for the citizens on whom the cost of nation-building now falls.  The Australian Tax Office will squeeze us harder and we will get less from the government for our efforts.

The original RSPT was fair, non-distorting and shared the mineral bonanza with the owners of the minerals: us.

Happy taxpaying, everyone!

The author owns OZ Minerals shares.