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Carbon tax must go: industry

13 November, 2013

Groups representing small, medium and large businesses across all sectors are calling on the parliament to avoid costly delay in the repeal of the carbon tax.

The call by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group), the Business Council of Australia (BCA) and the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) coincides with the expected introduction of the repeal legislation on Wednesday.

The industry groups believe that the carbon tax raises business costs unnecessarily, hitting industry competitiveness and investment confidence.

Delaying its removal until the new Senate sits — as would be the effect of the opposition's current stance — would achieve nothing for the environment, because it is future price expectations, not just the price today, that influence business investment, the Ai Group has said in a recent statement.

Delay would however add substantially to the costs and burdens facing business and households, particularly in electricity contracts, where for small business especially, the tax has been a "headache that has reduced profitability", the Ai Group said.

The statement continued: "Industry should be allowed to turn the corner on the new year with uncertainty about the carbon tax resolved, so business can refocus on jobs and competitiveness from day one of the new year.

"Our organisations urge the parliament to support repeal of the carbon tax in order to spare small business, large employers and households from months of additional cost and uncertainty.

"This parliament has to move beyond polarised politics to address the critical economic issues, building the confidence and the certainty that industry needs to keep Australia strong, competitive and resilient.

"Removing the carbon tax is the first step, and the second step is ensuring that the design of the government's policy enables emissions to be reduced at lowest cost to the economy and in a way which does not adversely impact on industry competitiveness."

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