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Monday, 24 February 2014
Page: 547

Carbon Pricing

Ms MARINO (ForrestGovernment Whip) (14:05): My question is to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister update the House on the impact that the carbon tax is havĀ­ing on the Australian economy? How will scrapping the carbon tax support Australian jobs?

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:05): I thank the member for her question. The government's plan to build a strong and prosperous economy does start with scrapping the carbon tax. Scrapping the carbon tax will be good for jobs, it will be good for businesses and it will be good for families' cost of living, because the carbon tax is a $9 billion a year hit on jobs. It is not surprising, given the fact that this is a $9 billion a year hit on jobs, that unemployment is 110,000 people higher now than it was in July 2012, when the carbon tax was introduced.

The carbon tax, even on the former government's own figures, is a giant handbrake on our economy. Members opposite know, because their figures said so, that our economy by mid century will be $1 trillion smaller—a cumulative $1 trillion smaller—with the carbon tax than without it. It is as though Australia were to close down for a year because of members opposite and their carbon tax.

Mr Perrett interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Moreton will desist.

Mr ABBOTT: Every single Australian's gross national income per head will be $5,000 a year less with a carbon tax than without one. That is a $5,000 a year hit on every Australian's income that this opposition wants to maintain in perpetuity.

Scrapping the carbon tax right now would make every single Australian household, on average, $550 a year better off. That is $550 a year better off, thanks to scrapping the carbon tax. Scrapping the carbon tax will give industries like the aluminium industry a fighting chance not just to survive but to flourish. The Labor Party's own figures show that, by mid-century, under a carbon tax aluminium production will be down by more than 60 per cent. So, every time an aluminium plant closes or scales down, it is just the carbon tax doing its job.

I am pleased that the Leader of the Opposition is now visiting workplaces where jobs are at risk; I am very pleased that he is doing that. But if he wants to help those workers rather than just use them, he will get out of the way and he will let the carbon tax repeal legislation go through.