OMG – Tony Abbott, Australia’s Prime Minister-in-waiting on the ABC’s 7:30 last night.

It doesn’t bode well for the nation’s future at all.

BHP Billiton has announced it won’t be proceeding with the $20 billion expansion of the Olympic Dam copper-uranium mine in South Australia. CEO Marius Kloppers confirms this is not as a result of the new minerals resource rental tax. (MRRT)

But, no, Tony Abbott told the ABC’s Leigh Sales, it’s the MRRT that’s put the project on the back burner. Marius Kloppers was apparently just being nice to the Labor government.

“The new tax has pushed up BHP’s costs”, Tony declared adamantly.

No, Tony. A tax on natural resource rents cannot increase a company’s costs. It may reduce its super profits, but it can’t add to its costs.

That’s the beauty, and the difference, of a tax on land or natural resources, you see, Tony.  As the Henry Tax Review showed, it can’t be added to costs because it is in the nature of a rent.

That’s Economics 101.

Unfortunately, Leigh Sales picked you up on several statements, and noted Marius Kloppers said it wasn’t the mining tax, but she failed to pick you up on this important point.

Your offsider and our future Treasurer, Joe Hockey, is also misguided on the point. (There’s a pair!) He was out and about yesterday also laying the blame for the slowdown in mining projects at the door of the MRRT.

Not China’s slowdown; the deepening uncertainty about our major market.

Not the significant environmental costs appertaining to Olympic Dam.

It’s the MRRT.

And black is white, Tony?

It’s both sides of politics, of course.

Politics around the world has degenerated into the Goebbelslike-doublespeak of George Orwell’s 1984.

Big Brother is well and truly with us …… and it’s much worse than the TV show.

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