The Labor-held federal Australian government recently presented its much-awaited 2012 budget. And what a mess of potage it turns out to be! According to Rob Burgess of the Business Spectator, the country’s mining sector “currently accounts for 30 per cent of ‘gross operating surplus’ – its basic approximation of who’s making all the money in this country.” Miners pay only 15 per cent of company tax at present, and they were expecting a further cut in the tax, ostensibly to promote more jobs. But this hasn’t materialised. For the cut was “to come out of the revenue that the government speculates can be raised from the minerals resource rent tax [MRRT].” Now, it seems, the MRRT itself has just about bombed. This affects, among others, Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata.