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Monday, 7 November 2011
Page: 8391

Senator WONG (South AustraliaMinister for Finance and Deregulation) (17:57): In relation to the price impact, Senator, I understand what you are trying to ask me but, with respect, we did not assess cost impact by occupation. It would be very difficult to work out how you would do that. What you do do is economy-wide modelling that assesses the impact on prices. As I said to you, it is about 0.7 per cent. And I have outlined to you the assistance mechanisms that would be provided for households, including farming households, through the tax system, through the payments system, through the pension system, through family tax benefits and, of course, through the tripling of the tax-free threshold.

I do not know if you were asking about fuel but, as you know, the government made clear how fuel will be included or not included in the scheme. Essentially, the mechanism is that on-road use is out, off-road use is in, except for agriculture, forestry and fisheries. So there is quite a significant amount of assistance being provided through the household assistance package that I have outlined. I am not sure what more the senator would want.

I have spoken about the CFI, the Carbon Farming Initiative. I have also made the point that agriculture is excluded. I would also advise that the Treasury modelling shows that gross output in the sector would be slightly higher with a carbon price than without. Under the food and foundries program, special assistance will be provided to the food-processing, metal-forging and foundry industries. The government will provide grants worth up to $150 million over six years to the food-processing industry. All businesses in the food-processing, metal-forging and foundry industries will be able to apply for funding under this program. The government understands that these industries are important to specific rural and regional areas. Funding will be on a current investment basis.