Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey says the Australian government has been living beyond its means after it was revealed the mining tax had raised only $126 million in its first six months.
The minerals resource rent tax (MRRT) was forecast to raise $2 billion over the entire 2012/13 financial year.
Mr Hockey said Friday's figure should prompt a resignation from Treasurer Wayne Swan.
"The bottom line is the revenue has been falling, but ... the government has committed and locked in expenditure against revenue that is not there," he told reporters in Sydney.
"They were spending the Christmas bonus, and the Christmas bonus is now not there, and they are shocked."
Mr Hockey said the introduction of the MRRT had damaged business certainty but failed to raise anything approaching the government's original forecasts.
"The Australian Taxation Office has now spent $50 million preparing for a tax that has raised $126 million and has caused untold harm to Australian miners and investment confidence in Australia," he said.
"When the treasurer released his economic statement in October last year, he forecast $2 billion of mining tax revenue this year on the basis of an Australian dollar at 102 (US) cents.
"It is now 103 cents, so he can't blame the Australian dollar."
Nor could Mr Swan blame commodity prices, Mr Hockey said, because there was widespread belief commodity prices were now recovering.
"If Wayne Swan had any self-respect he would resign," he said.
He reiterated the coalition's pledge to scrap the mining tax if it wins the federal election in September.