If the carbon tax passes today, the Prime Minister should not gazette the legislation but do the honourable thing and immediately call an election so Australians can have their say on the carbon tax.
In the meantime, the Coalition will seek to limit the possible increases to electricity prices under Labor’s carbon tax by moving an amendment giving the Government one last chance.
A new amendment introduced by the Coalition will stop electricity generators from having to pay for electricity permits before they need them.
Advance payment for permits, as proposed by Labor, forces electricity generators to part with around $10 billion in funding before they need to. It provides extra working capital to the government at the expense of working capital for electricity generators.
These extra costs may make it harder to lock in future contracts and future prices. Independent modelling undertaken by the Energy Supply Association of Australia estimates that even a 5% reduction in electricity contracting could result in increases of 10-15% in retail prices, above the known prices rises caused by the carbon tax.
Australians are already facing the prospect of a 10% increase in their electricity bills thanks to Labor’s carbon tax. By opposing this amendment it seems Labor believes a 10% price rise isn’t enough – they are willing to have an immediate 20% price rise on top of all other impacts on electricity prices.
These extra price rises are avoidable. They should be avoided. The Coalition is offering a way to avoid them.
Changes of this nature have even been sought by the Queensland Labor Government, as well as the New South Wales Coalition Government. They were even adopted by Labor under their CPRS model.
Even with this amendment Labor’s carbon tax will still impose a massive slug on the electricity bills of all Australians. Hopefully this change might limit those increases a little, making a little difference for those Australians who will struggle to pay their electricity bills under the carbon tax.
While we don’t support the carbon tax we will do all we can to ease the cost of living impacts on Australian families.
There is no reason for Labor or the Greens to oppose this amendment. It simply reduces slightly the pain of their painful carbon tax. The Coalition calls on them to support this sensible change.