The plan to repeal the carbon tax by the federal government has so far been a sticky process with the first legislative package rejected by the senate. Because the Labor party and the Greens are still against the bills, there is little to no chance of the federal government getting the bill passed until the seats of the senate change hands on the 1st of July.
In a move to further slow proceedings, the opposition and Greens chose to debate each piece of the legislative package as separate entities. This has angered the treasurer Joe Hockey, who has blamed the former Labor government’s carbon tax for the recent rise in the inflation rate. The consumer price index rose 0.8 per cent in the December quarter pushing the inflation rate to 2.7 per cent from 2.2 per cent in the previous period. This is the highest rate of inflation in two years.
“The inflation rate continues to be impacted by Labor’s carbon tax,” said Mr Hockey on Wednesday. He went on to say that “Labor senators should stop standing in the way of cost-of-living relief for Australian families and vote to repeal the carbon tax when parliament resumes.”
The repeal of the tax cannot come soon enough for some local business owners. Rod Bishop from Snowcentral in Brisbane’s North said he may no longer be able to afford to tune snowboards in his business’ state of the art Wintersteiger Tunejet machine due to rising energy costs believed to be associated with the tax.
And it appears he is not alone. A spokesperson from Ray White Project Marketing Queensland recently commented at a community meeting in Brisbane’s East on the potential negative influence the tax is having on consumer spending. “People are more conscious with their money” she said. Implying that their money is not going as far as it once did taking into account rising living costs. “This has also led to buyers losing confidence in their ability to repay loans on new apartments. We used to receive a steady influx of purchases off the plan; but this rise in inflation as definitely minimized this.”
The federal government has put forward numbers stating that the repeal of the tax would save Australian families and businesses an average of $550 next financial year. However, some of the Labor senators believe that it will cost the Australian taxpayer more to shut down the $10 Billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).