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Abbott's secret Carbon Tax

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Campaign Media Release

Minister for Climate Change Mark Butler


The fine print of Tony Abbott’s own climate change policy contains a carbon tax, buried in the fine print.

The Coalition’s Direct Action Plan states:

Businesses that undertake activity with an emissions level above their ‘business as usual’ levels will incur a financial penalty. The value of penalties will be on a sliding scale at levels commensurate with the size of the business and the extent to which they exceed their ‘business as usual’ levels.

Analysis of emissions data shows Mr Abbott’s carbon tax would affect around 220 companies and could raise as much as $350 million a year, which could be passed through to households with no compensation whatsoever.

Climate Change Minister Mark Butler said Mr Abbott had been caught out being completely dishonest with the Australian people.

“The man who said he’d fight a price on carbon until his last political breath has a great, big new carbon tax sitting in the fine print of his own policy documents.

“Not only would Mr Abbott’s secret carbon tax hit businesses, his Direct Action Plan to pay big polluters would end up slugging households by $1200 a year.”

The revelations come despite Mr Abbott’s two-year scare campaign saying carbon pricing will cause mass job losses and business failures.

“The fact is that the only parties going to the 2013 election with a carbon tax are the Greens and the Liberal Party,” Mr Butler said.

Labor is moving to an Emissions Trading Scheme which will cap emissions and guarantees Australia will reach our carbon pollution reduction target at minimum cost.

“What’s different with our approach, compared with the Coalition’s, is that it will actually work, at least cost to the economy,” Mr Butler said

"Mr Abbott's climate plan is environmentally ineffective, economically irresponsible and socially inequitable. It remains an expensive joke and a fraud on the Australian people."

The analysis used the Liberal Party’s own approach, based on the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System (NGERS) which requires large companies to report their annual greenhouse gas emissions.

The Coalition would work out a company’s existing “business as usual” carbon pollution. Then it will impose a tax if they increase their emissions above this level.

The Climate Institute recently indicated comparable schemes would apply a penalty of around $15 a tonne rising to $20 per tonne by 2020.


Communications Unit: T 03 8625 5111

Authorised by G. Wright, Australian Labor Party, 5/9 Sydney Avenue, Barton, ACT, 2600