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Wednesday, 23 May 2012
Page: 5279

Carbon Pricing

Mr HOCKEY (North Sydney) (14:08): My question is to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister confirm that, based on the government's own figures, household expenditure will go up by $9.90 each week due to the carbon tax, yet the government will only provide $10.10 each week in compensation? Given that the government has not got a single predicted figure right in the last five years, does the Prime Minister seriously believe 20c a week is enough margin of error to cover all the unexpected costs of the world's biggest carbon tax?

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:08): I would have to say I am a little bit surprised by the shadow Treasurer's question, because the Leader of the Opposition and the shadow Treasurer have been going around the nation saying that the cost-of-living increases from the carbon price will be 'astronomical'. And then the shadow Treasurer comes in today and actually backs in the figures about cost-of-living increases—about a $9.90 increase rather than the wild and inaccurate figures that have been used in the Leader of the Opposition's fear campaign. So I thank the shadow Treasurer—

Mr Hockey: Madam Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I am quoting the Prime Minister's own figures back to her, and asking her whether 20c a week is enough to cover all the other costs.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The member for North Sydney will resume his seat. Points of order are not a time for debate.

Ms GILLARD: I thank the shadow Treasurer for bringing to an end the Leader of the Opposition's cost-of-living scare campaign. The next time the Leader of the Opposition says the cost-of-living increases will be 'astronomical', we will remind him of this moment when the shadow Treasurer pulled the rug out from under him.

To the shadow Treasurer: the figures that the government has worked on are the figures that have been modelled by Treasury. As electricity price regulators around the nation have made the determinations about the impact of carbon pricing on electricity prices, that modelling has been shown to be right—bang on the money. It has been right in Queensland and right in New South Wales—right in those places where electricity price regulators have actually sat and made a determination about the impact of carbon pricing. So the shadow Treasurer should know that the Treasury modelling done by the same people that the shadow Treasurer relied on when he was in government has been verified to date.

The shadow Treasurer should also acknowledge that, for the lowest income Australian families, we have provided a buffer of more compensation. They will come out better off. That is something that the shadow Treasurer wants to rip away from them. He wants to make them worse off. Millions of Australian families will receive enough compensation for the flow-through impact of carbon pricing. The real risk to the cost-of-living pressures for these families actually arises from the shadow Treasurer and his $70-billion plan to rip away the services that Australians rely on, his plan to take away their tax cuts, his plan to take away their pension increases, his plan to rip away their family payments, his plan to even rip away family payments not at all associated with carbon pricing, and his direct refusal to assist families with the cost of getting the kids to school.

Mr Hockey: How is this related?

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Prime Minister will return to the question before the chair.

Ms GILLARD: That is the real set of cost-of-living pressures on Australian families flowing from the reckless policies of the Leader of the Opposition and his friends. (Time expired)