Yesterday, also known as ‘Carbon Sunday’, was the first day of the Gillard Government’s price on pollution. If you still don’t understand what the whole thing is really about, we’ve put together an excellent cheat sheet for you – you can read it here.
The pollies have reacted for and against the tax; some strongly in support, some very much against. Take a look at some of the things that were happening yesterday:
More from The Daily Telegraph:
Prime Minister Julia Gillard threw Tony Abbott’s claim that she broke an election promise back at him by predicting he would not make good on his vow to scrap it if he won the next election.
Ms Gillard said business investments being made now would make it too difficult for a future Coalition prime minister to unwind the tax, saying any change would be limited to “a fiddle or a fudge”.
“Businesses have got themselves ready for carbon pricing,” she told Insiders on ABC TV.
“New investments have been made. Against all of that backdrop, Mr Abbott will find himself in a position where he cannot go to the next election pretending anything else than carbon pricing is going to stay.”
Mr Abbott hit back, insisting that getting rid of the carbon tax would be his priority if he became prime minister.
“If you elect a Coalition government, there will be no carbon tax and I can be believed when I say there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead,” he said.
As for whether families are feeling the difference:
Australia’s peak industry group said more than 42 per cent of businesses put up prices from Sunday, when the tax came into effect.
“Most businesses have said to us they have to put their prices up simply because they can’t afford to absorb the costs,” Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox said last night.
The survey also revealed the sectors most likely to pass costs on to customers, with communications services businesses (82 per cent) most likely to raise prices, while businesses in the finance and insurance services and the accommodation, cafes and restaurants industries (both 22 per cent) a far lesser chance.
Coles and Woolworths have pledged not to introduce overnight price rises with Treasurer Wayne Swan yesterday demonstrating he could buy the same basket of goods – including cheese, sausages, oranges and toilet paper – at the same price as he did on Friday.
The carbon tax will add an average $9.90 to household bills. The average compensation will be $10.10 and six million out of the nine million Australian households will be fully compensated.
Workers earning up to $80,000 a year were also given a tax cut yesterday with most getting at least $300.
“Six in 10 households are going to have very substantial assistance. There will be some that will have less. But the great bulk of people will be more than compensated for the impact of this price,” Mr Swan said.
The view from the other side is that carbon change is a hoax and that Australian democracy has died. This from the Sydney Morning Herald:
About 2000 people marched from Hyde Park to Belmore Park to hear Bronwyn Bishop speak against the government’s Clean Energy Bill, while a much smaller group in Melbourne heard the broadcaster Alan Jones refer to climate change science as ”propaganda”.
”The notion of global warming is a hoax,” Jones told a group of about 150 people on the steps of the Victorian Parliament. ”This is witchcraft. Commonsense will tell you it’s rubbish; 97 per cent of all carbon dioxide occurs naturally … 3 per cent around the world is created by human beings.”
In Sydney, Ms Bishop said the government was trying to use climate change to hold onto power. ”The government is trying to frighten the nation into accepting the need for it, but the Australian people are saying no, they don’t want it,” she said.
”Australia doesn’t have too many international advantages, but one place it does have an advantage is cheap electricity.”