Cameron Hepburn

7 July 2014

‘Don’t axe the tax: emissions trading supporters make last-ditch plea’ – The Guardian

Cameron Hepburn

Repeal could cost $20bn over next four years and 59 economists insist a carbon price is the best way to reduce emissions.

Supporters of emissions trading are making a last-ditch plea to the Senate not to repeal Australia’s laws – citing new analysis that shows “axing the tax” will cost the budget almost $20bn over the next four years and a letter from 59 leading economists insisting a carbon price is the best way to reduce emissions.

But the government is determined the carbon price repeal should be the first decision of the new Senate and, with the support of the Palmer United party (PUP), appears set to bring on the debate and finally achieve the tax’s repeal this week.

Agreement is close on the one amendment the PUP insists on – to guarantee that cost reductions are passed through to consumers. Meanwhile the PUP is preparing to introduce its own version of an emissions trading scheme this week with the price temporarily set at zero until trading partners act.

A costing by the parliamentary budget office has found budget revenues would be $18.1bn higher over the next four years if the carbon price was retained.

The costings, requested by the Greens, found that if the government also stopped paying compensation in the form of free permits to the coal industry, the budget benefit would be $20.2bn.

The Greens leader, Christine Milne, said the costings showed “the government is claiming a budget emergency, but it is preparing to forgo $18bn to help out the big polluters”.

At the same time a group of 59 economists, led by the former Liberal leader John Hewson, has appealed to the Senate not to repeal carbon pricing.

Full article below.


The Guardian - Don't axe the tax