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PUP's failure to keep carbon tax promise 'will disappoint public'

14 July, 2014

Clive Palmer and his PUP senators will have much to explain to voters if it does play its part in scrapping the carbon tax this week, Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt has said.

The federal government has hitherto held back from slamming Palmer and senators from voting against the carbon tax repeal in an 11th-hour move last week, however Hunt told Fairfax Radio recently they needed to honour their election commitment.

"We all went to the election, all eight crossbench senators and the Coalition members, with a pledge to repeal [the carbon tax]," he said.

"The Australian people would be deeply disappointed, and, ... in many cases angered, if that were not followed through this week.

"My hope and expectation is that by the end of the week we will have repealed the carbon tax."

Business "increasingly frustrated" with delays

The Business Council of Australia (BCA) constructed its argument on the cause for repeal citing new analysis showing electricity prices had doubled in the past decade, with the carbon tax now accounting for up to 20 per cent of the electricity bill of a large business.

"Repealing the carbon tax must be the first step in reducing Australia's electricity prices and developing a coherent and integrated national energy and climate change policy that maintains our competitiveness and energy advantages while helping Australia to contribute to global emissions reductions," BCA President Catherine Livingstone said.

Livingstone released analysis done for the Business Council by Synergies Economic Consulting and Roam Consulting showing the carbon tax and other green energy policies now account for a total of 40 per cent of the electricity bill of a large business that does not receive government assistance.

"This analysis clearly shows the high cost of the carbon tax and other green energy policies on business and the community, and underscores why business is increasingly frustrated at the delays in the Senate this week in removing this major economic impost in a timely manner," she said.

"Extending the carbon tax for an uncertain period of time simply is adding huge costs to electricity bills for both business and the community at a time when the economy can least afford it.

"Failure by the parliament to repeal the carbon tax by next week will create significant uncertainty for businesses, particularly electricity retailers, with flow-on consequences for consumers."

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Goldie | Monday, July 14, 2014, 12:12 PM
From what I understand Palmer is being vilified for holding Abbott to account on their negotiated deal to include in the Bill a clause which ensures that savings are passed on to you and me and that there are fines for those that don't comply. What in heavens name is wrong with that? Some may say Abbott left that part of the agreement out in the hope that Palmer would not notice and by the time he did it would be too late, the Bill would be through. Abbott knows how difficult it is going to be ensuring that the power companies pass it on hence is attempt at a shifty. Unfortunately for consumers even if they agree to pass it on they will simply give with one hand and take back more with the other all in the guise of 'network costs' something they have been getting away with for more than 5 years with very few questions asked by our 'asleep at the wheel' regulators. Unfettered greed by the energy industry and a failure to grasp that everything has a tipping point has triggered an irreversible shift in attitudes by the community, one that they never counted on, a permanent shift to other energy sources. They have overcooked the goose and now they get to watch their assets deteriorate in value, some of these people get paid millions but they are not real bright, I hope they choke on it.
Martin Moran | Monday, July 14, 2014, 1:43 PM
Contrary to the comments above about some of the people not being very bright I am aware of one very high up member in the power industry with 4 higher education qualifications. He along with a lot of senior members of the generating industry had a lot of in depth discussions with the previous federal government about subsidizing the renewable power industry. These discussions were ignored and deals struck with the greens so they could hold onto power. Those very same deals are why we have such high prices today. The power distribution system is designed to take very high voltage from the power station and transport it hundred of kilometers before being stepped down to household voltage for home owner use. Solar panels are trying to push low voltage back into the grid through transformers not designed to do this. If we continue to subsidize solar panels then we will need to spend a lot more money on poles and wires as you say.
Peter | Monday, July 14, 2014, 4:02 PM
Abbott puts big business interests well above the public's interest. Is it not fair Mr Abbott that the energy companies rescind back to the public the portion of the carbon tax that they would otherwise pocket. Abbott, the low and middle class are being squeezed by the big companies and you turn a blind eye, but yet you say you value fairness. From my view as the consumer, and the voter, it looks like Clive has stolen your thunder. You have a lot to learn, Mr Abbott.
Goldie | Monday, July 14, 2014, 5:51 PM
Martin, A bag full of qualifications does not always translate to the holder being intelligent, look around, we are surrounded by people with more qualifications than body parts but there is a vast difference between being qualified and being capable. We have been told for the past five years or more that the network is run down and much of it needs replacing hence the never ending rise in our electricity bills. How much of this is true only the companies know because NO ONE, including the so called regulators sees the need for them to be transparent and spell out exactly what it is the people have been getting for their money. Given you know somebody in the industry perhaps you can get some idea what it is we have been paying big time for, I look forward to some information. My understanding is the energy from solar panels does not go through the transformer as it is already 240v, it simply goes to other houses in the street that are drawing power. I will stand corrected if this is not the case. The greed of the intelligentsia of the electricity game has caught up with them and life will never be the same again. People, having been pushed over the pricing edge have sought other options and it is never going into reverse. It won't matter if we continue to subsidise solar or not the turn has been made there is no going back. The cost of solar today is dirt cheap and anyone who has not got a system is crazy as it will reduce your energy bill. Feed in tariff today is almost non existent but is has not stopped people installing systems. Wait till battery technology improves then we will see the next phase in this story. The moral of this story, go too far and people will, through necessity come up with an alternative.