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"My hope and expectation is that by the end of the week we will have repealed the carbon tax."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