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Oz Carbon Tax Repeal Gets Opposition Backing

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

30 June 2014

With bold claims that his party will "hold the balance of power" in Australia's legislature from July 1, 2014, Clive Palmer, the leader of the Palmer United Party (PUP), has said his party will back the abolition of the carbon tax and seek to repeal the legislation.

According to Palmer, one of the planned amendments would mean that all energy producers are required by law to pass on to consumers the savings they would enjoy from repeal. He does however remain opposed to Prime Minister Tony Abbott's Direct Action plan for tackling climate change.

PUP would therefore move an additional amendment to provide for the establishment of an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). It would become effective once Australia's main trading partners introduce similar systems. Palmer said: "This measure cannot be defined as a financial measure, this scheme will have a carbon price zero rated. The government and the parliament of the day will have the ability to set the financial parameters of the scheme based on the action of our leading trading partners such as China, the United States, the European Union, Japan, and Korea."

The former Labour administration had planned to shift the country away from a carbon tax to an ETS, but was defeated in last September's general election. The current Government campaigned on a platform of repeal, yet was defeated in its first attempt to pass the necessary legislation to repeal the carbon tax, being scuppered by opposition from Labour and Green party senators.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann welcomed Palmer's statement of support for the Government's efforts to scrap the tax as "very good news indeed." The Green party – despite opposing the repeal of the carbon tax – said that PUP's position is somewhat allied to its party's position. It said it could work with PUP and Labour to block the dismantling of the Clean Energy Corporation, Renewable Energy Target, and Climate Change Authority.

The House of Representatives voted for a second time on June 26 to abolish the carbon tax. The bill will now pass to the Senate, which is due to be sworn in on July 1.

TAGS: environment | compliance | Finance | Energy | tax | tax compliance | tax incentives | energy | law | Australia | China | environmental tax | legislation | tax rates | carbon tax | United States | Japan | Europe

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