Carbon tax: Conjecture rages,but time for facts

DEBATE rages over the likely effects of the federal government’s carbon tax in Melbourne’s north as the new system comes into effect.
Nanjing Night Net

Under the scheme, businesses and organisations that emit more than 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year will have to buy a $23 permit for every tonne released.

The Gillard government hopes a generous compensation package will improve public support for the tax, introduced last Sunday.

Price increases are set to flow through to households and businesses, but McEwen MP Rob Mitchell says he’s sure most Hume residents won’t be out of pocket.

He says most households will receive some combination of tax cuts, higher family payments and increases in pensions and benefits.

“Electricity prices are estimated to increase by $3.30 a week for the average household and even less for smaller or sole-occupant homes.”

Hume Council said 1.4 per cent of its latest rate rise was due to the carbon tax.

Electricity prices are set to rise by up to 15 per cent, but only about 8 per cent is attributed to the carbon price.

The remainder will come from companies passing on other costs.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has vowed to scrap the carbon tax if the Coalition wins government at the next election.

Liberal Senator for Victoria, Scott Ryan said limited compensation packages will not be enough to blunt the direct and indirect impact of the carbon tax for some.

Western suburbs Liberal MP Bernie Finn claims a price on carbon will put Melbourne’s northern suburbs in to the worst recession since the 1930s.

Mr Finn, a Bulla resident, said Hume residents would be hit hard by the tax.

“It’s a real concern as the airport is a main employer of local residents. We have seen airlines make cutbacks and with the tax on energy, of which airlines are prolific users, they will feel it hard. There’s so much misery for no reason at all.

“My neighbours and friends are already talking about the uncertainty it brings.”