Carbon tax repeal legislation

Now that the new government is in full swing, it has released legislation to repeal Australia's carbon pricing mechanism, widely referred to as the 'carbon tax'.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott released a statement on October 15 stating that the carbon tax repeal bills are up for public consideration.

This is the new government's first "item of parliamentary business" according to the Prime Minister, who swore he would get rid of carbon pricing during his campaign.

"This will lower costs for Australian businesses and manufacturers, boost growth, increase jobs and ease cost of living pressures for households," said Mr Abbott in the media release.

"On average, households will be around $550 better off in 2014‑15 than they would have been with the carbon tax in place.  This is about taking the pressure off electricity and gas bills."

Throughout the life of the carbon pricing mechanism, there has been controversy over just how much it has contributed to electricity prices. In fact, the biggest contributor to high energy bills are infrastructural upgrades to aging poles and wires for the industry.  The carbon tax was said to only compromise a small percentage of household energy bills.

However, the new government is set on abolishing the carbon tax, claiming the election result proves Australians want it gone.

The new legislation will mean the carbon pricing mechanism is removed and carbon tax on fuels used in shipping, rail and air transport and on synthetic greenhouse gases will be removed. The Climate Change Authority will also be abolished.

Mr Abbott says these changes will improve Australia's competitiveness on the international stage, and help business and industry.

"Repeal of the carbon tax represents a major contribution to the Government’s deregulation agenda by removing around 440 pages of legislation and reducing business compliance costs by about $100 million annually," he said.

Now that the draft repeal bills have been released, businesses have the opportunity to comment on the details. Public consultation is open until November 4 of this year and depending on its reception, the legislation could be further refined before being introduced into Parliament.

What are your thoughts on the repeal of the carbon pricing mechanism? Do you agree with it, or would you like to see the carbon tax stay?

Posted by Charlie Moore