7 Jul

The government moves to repeal the Carbon Tax

While the federal government may have succeeded in its initial steps for repealing the former Labor government’s Carbon Tax, they still have one clear obstacle in their way: getting it through the Senate.

The Carbon Tax itself has been a consistently polarising tax, with home and business owners either supporting it or criticising it for increasing costs and conjecturing that it hasn’t had any real influence on Australia’s carbon emission levels. Despite previous reports showing that carbon emissions have dropped since the introduction of the tax, there are alternatives that can be explored.

It’s where viable alternatives are concerned that the current Coalition government is failing to deliver. This was evident when Clive Palmer, leader of the Palmer United Party (PUP), stated that his party would support the Coalition’s decision to repeal the carbon tax, but only if the Coalition had acceptable alternative solutions, retained climate change-related government bodies, and set up an Emissions Trading Scheme similar to that proposed by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

That said, the current standing makes it appear almost certain that the Carbon Tax will be repealed. Importantly, the Coalition reportedly has the support of all PUP senators, all of whom held a significant position in determining the success or failure of the Coalition’s attempts to repeal the controversial tax. Labor and the Greens have, on a majority scale, stated that they will vote against the repeal, but this is unlikely to have any impact on the final outcome.

It’s believed that the debate and vote for whether or not the Carbon Tax is repealed will occur today. And while certain senators have argued against the debate occurring on July 7 and asking for it to be moved to July 14, saying it will unfairly truncate the debate surrounding the repeal, it’s still mostly assured to occur today.

So, as far as the fate of the Carbon Tax goes, it could be repealed today or, at the latest, throughout the course of the next week or two. Some may see this as a good thing, some may not. But even though the Coalition government states it will help reduce the cost of living, if some of the government’s more costly budget changes go through, any ‘cost of living’ savings could be cancelled out.

And considering the PUP will support the repeal, does this mean the Coalition has offered a viable alternative to ensure that our carbon emissions and contribution to climate change will reduce? In reality, we’re still waiting, and it’s become clear that of all the things the Coalition government cares about, the environment isn’t really one of them.

UPDATE (THURSDAY, 10 JULY, 2014): Since Monday, the Coalition has been blocked from being able to vote in the repeal of the Carbon Tax. Resistance from opposing senators, as well as the Palmer United Party, has stalled all attempts so far. Clive Palmer stated that the vote likely will not go through today either, as the party is not convinced the Coalition will respect the conditions the PUP has put forward in exchange for their support in abolishing the Carbon Tax.

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