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Abbott's scare campaign wilts

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THE HON GREG COMBET AM MP Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency


GC 184/11 23 June 2011


The Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was at it again today, preferring to mislead the public and stage insincere stunts rather than engage in real policy debate.

Tony Abbott took his mobile scare campaign to a greengrocer in the Canberra suburb of Belconnen today where he continued his deliberate exaggeration of the impact of a carbon price on fresh fruit and vegies.

Mr Abbott made a nuisance of himself to the local shoppers at Ziggy’s Garden Fresh in Belconnen Markets by trotting out his discredited claim that a carbon price would lift the prices of all food and groceries by exorbitant amounts.

This is simply not true.

Treasury modelling shows the former Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) would have increased the prices of fresh food items by around 0.6 per cent.

That means under the CPRS, the impact on the price of 1 kilogram of apples or oranges bought today at Ziggy’s Garden Fresh would have been less than 2 cents, while the CPRS impact on 1 kilogram of broccoli would have been 3.5 cents.

Mr Abbott needs to give up his addiction to stunts and explain why his subsidies-for-polluters policy would in fact cost an average family the equivalent of appropriately 241 kilograms of apples or oranges, and 120 kilograms of broccoli.

Mr Abbott has purposely ignored the fact that under a carbon price, the Government has committed to providing fair and generous assistance to households. In fact more than 50 per cent of our carbon price revenue will be used to assist households, which will mean millions of households will be better off, and the rest of the revenue will be spent on supporting jobs and investing in clean energy.

Mr Abbott should engage on the issues. He could start by explaining why the Coalition’s policy of making households pay the big polluters is preferable to the Government’s policy of putting a price tag on the big polluters and using the revenue to assist households.

Media contacts: Mark Davis 0400 295 560; Gia Hayne 0412 060 406