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Monday, 7 November 2011
Page: 8396

Senator WONG (South AustraliaMinister for Finance and Deregulation) (18:21): I will try and assist the senator. I think she is suggesting that the prices will fluctuate. I make the point that in the first three years it is a fixed price, and post that, there will obviously be a market price, and the adequacy of assistance will be assessed each year in the budget context to enable the price to be reflected in terms of the assistance. I also make the point that, as part of the clean energy package, there are some three rounds of tax cuts. These are the ones the senator is going to have to explain to her constituents that she is opposing because her party cannot afford to deliver them, and they really cannot afford to deliver them. If they are telling you that in the party room they are wrong. I would say also that my recollection of the income distribution in regional areas is that there are a lot of people to whom you will have to explain that you are going to make them pay more tax. There are three rounds of tax cuts. What the government has committed to ensures that there will be assistance to cover the projected impact of a carbon price out to the end of the decade. In 2011-12, the effective tax-free threshold moves to $16,000, in 2012-13 to $20,542 and in 2015-16 to $20,979. The government has already committed to tax cuts to provide assistance to cover the projected impact of a carbon price out to the end of the decade. I again emphasise: household assistance payments and tax cuts will be ongoing and will be permanent. Clean energy payments will be indexed to the CPI, which means they will keep pace with the cost of living, including the CPI impact of any further changes to the carbon price. I am sorry, I think I said three rounds of tax cuts; I should have said two.