Carbon tax passes lower house

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Julia Gillard’s carbon tax passed through the lower house today, marking one of the most significant economic transformations to the country in decades.

The Opposition was still determined to make it as difficult as possible for the Government, with two Liberal backbenchers yesterday leaving overseas delegations at the UN and NATO to strengthen the Coalition vote.

Their Labour counterparts were forced to do the same, which sparked criticism from Government Whip Joel Fitzgibbon on ABC Radio.

But the affect of Liberal backbenchers returning was watered down yesterday after their fellow MP Sophie Mirabella was kicked out of the house for 24 hours.

Mirabella was forced out after she defied deputy speaker and Liberal colleague Peter Slipper, and her ban meant she did not vote on the tax.

Both Tony Abbott and Gillard have been blitzing the media over the past 24 hours over the policy.

Abbott told ABC’s AM program this morning his promise to scrap the tax if elected was “a pledge written in blood”.

But Gillard told parliament Abbott’s promise was a hollow threat.

“… his so-called primise to repeal a price on carbon is just nonsense. He will not repeal a price on carbon if he is ever elected as prime minister,” she said.

“He will not do that because more than half of his political party supports putting a price on carbon.”

Gillard also told Seven’s Sunrise program this morning the tax was a brave move made in the best interests of the country, and would leave people with “money in their pockets.”

Yesterday the Greens agreed to support the final hurdle for the package, throwing their weight behind the $300 million steel transformation plan.

The plan will allow steel companies, including BlueScope and OneSteel, to qualify for government funding even if they fire staff and cut production.

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