Prime Minister Julia Gillard has repeated claims that the opposition won’t be able to repeal the carbon tax if it wins power.Prime Minister Julia Gillard has dug in on her prediction that Tony Abbott will not repeal the carbon price as promised, as Australians woke up to day one of the country’s most profound economic reform in more than a decade.
Ms Gillard told the ABC’s Insiders program that Mr Abbott was bluffing when he repeatedly swore over recent days to make it his first priority on day one of a Coalition government, to begin the process of dismantling the carbon price.
”Even if Mr Abbott ever becomes Prime Minister in this country, he won’t take carbon pricing away. He’ll engage in a little fiddle, a little fudge, to kind of pretend, but carbon pricing will still be here,” she said.
The $23-a-tonne carbon price, to be paid by about 300 heavy carbon emitters – mostly companies and councils – comes into effect today. Its introduction comes after years of debate over carbon pricing as a solution to climate change, and also kicks off a fortnight of busy campaigning by the major parties.
The Gillard government believes that once the carbon price comes into effect, Australians will realise it has only a modest effect on their daily lives and the acrimony towards the policy will subside.
Mr Abbott, appearing in Melbourne, repeated his vows to scrap the carbon price.
”The message that I can give to the Australian people right now, is that if they elect a Coalition government, there will be no carbon tax.
Day one of a new government, the instruction will go to the public service to start preparing the legislation. On day one of the parliament, the carbon tax legislation will be introduced. That is my pledge to the people of Australia.”
Ms Gillard refused to directly answer questions on whether a Labor opposition would vote against Mr Abbott’s repeal. If Mr Abbott wins government but not control of the Senate, Labor would need to decide whether to stick by the carbon price. If they do, Mr Abbott would need to take the country to a double dissolution election.
But Ms Gillard said: ”As a Labor party, as a Labor government, we haven’t done all this for no reason. We’ve done it because we believe it’s pivotal to Australia’s future, so of course we will seek to protect it.”
Polls indicate that the carbon price has caused deep concern among voters. The government’s own modelling suggests electricity prices will rise about 10 per cent because of the carbon price – a sensitive issue after the steady hikes in power bills of recent years.
But the government’s modelling also shows the overall rise in the cost of living because of the carbon price will be just 0.7 per cent.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.