Carbon tax unconstitutional, says legal expert

As the date for the initiation of the carbon tax (July 1) comes closer, many consumer, industry and worker groups have joined the debate over what the possible benefits and consequences will be.

Those consumers who experience a significant increase in their power accounts due to the tax may also see a rise in other business or household expenses as well - gas prices, grocery bills, water rates and other operational costs will possibly be affected by the reduction in spending capacity.

However, the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) has challenged the legal grounds for the carbon tax, releasing a statement this morning (April 10) that labelled the scheme 'unconstitutional'.

"Only the high court can decide the constitutionality of the carbon tax, but there are clear grounds to challenge it according to one of Australia's top administrative law minds," said Tim Wilson, IPA's climate change policy director.

Legal expert Bryan Pape was commissioned by the IPA to provide legal opinion on the carbon tax and has announced that the scheme can be challenged on a number of grounds including the conflict of federal taxing of state property.

Posted by Callum Fleming