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Power and gas bills must detail carbon tax



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Shadow Minister for Climate Action, Environment and Heritage Greg Hunt

Power and Gas Bills Must Detail Carbon Tax

29/03/12

Prime Minister Julia Gillard must insist that electricity and gas companies include details of the Carbon Tax in their bills to Australian families.

The Coalition has written to the Prime Minister requesting that she ensure the electricity and gas retailers insert a line item in bills to households and businesses post 1 July, which specifies the cost of the Carbon Tax.

The Prime Minister has claimed that the electricity prices will go up 10 per cent and gas charges 9 per cent under the Carbon Tax.

The Australian people deserve to know if that promise is kept. That can only be achieved by power and gas bills detailing how much the Carbon Tax has added to their overall charge.

It is essential that the introduction of the Carbon Tax and its cost impacts are transparent. Anything less, will be a cover-up.

If the Prime Minister fails to act and provide the necessary transparency, the Coalition will introduce a Private Members Bill in the next session of Parliament.

Australians are already paying some of the highest electricity prices in the world, as detailed by the recent CME report prepared on behalf of the Energy Users Association.

While the electricity generators are warning the costs could go up by 20 per cent.

In addition, the Government and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission have warned businesses that they will not be allowed to raise prices to cover the Carbon Tax unless they can detail the costs. Specific detail on energy bills will be essential for businesses to be able to comply with the government’s regulatory demands.

The Prime Minister has spent more than $30 million of taxpayers’ money in advertising to try to convince the community that the Carbon Tax is good for them, with another $10 million still to come in the advertising budget.

If the Prime Minister is confident that prices will not be higher than the Treasury figures, then she should have nothing to hide and insist that the details are on the bills and easy to read.