Carbon tax price revealed

The Federal Government is believed to have set the carbon price at $23 tonne ahead of its official launch on Sunday.

This price is much lower than that pushed for by the Greens, but believed to be in line with independents, The West reports.

The number of companies required to buy the permits also fell as the Government has decided to remove fuel from the pricing scheme, meaning around 200 fuel refiners will no longer come under the tax.

Only 500 companies, rather than the 1000 predicted to come under its auspices.

A regulation of ‘synthetic’ greenhouse gases aimed at countering the levels of emissions also slashed the number of companies that will be hit with the carbon tax.

The Gillard Government said the introduction of the carbon tax will be smaller than the GST, adding that the revenues raised by the tax will much lower than previously forecast, and the amount of compensation needed will also be lower.

The Greens had previously been arguing for a high starting carbon price of almost $30 a tonne.
However, this was shot down by the Government and independent ministers Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott.

Opponents to the carbon tax have said they will now step up their advertising campaign aginst it.

The group is composed of organisations such as the Minerals Council of Australia, the Australian Chamber of Commerce, the Australian Coal Association, and the Plastics and Chemical Industries Association.

It is “aiming to mirror the mining tax efforts, where an aggressive advertising campaign defeated its motion by public opposition to the carbon tax so that it is either substantially modified or fails to pass the parliament” a statement from the group says.

Federal treasurer Wayne Swan has hit out at the industry, accusing it of over-reacting to the tax before it has even been released.

Gloucester Coal chairman James McKenzie has backed Swan, saying the resources industry should allow the government to explain all aspects of the tax before moving against it.

We haven’t seen the final form in which this is going to work, so having definitive statements on the effect this is going to have on the coal industry – or any other particular sector of the Australian economy – is a bit too early,” he said.

”Let’s see what the final form is.”

Swan also refuted suggestions that the Government would go its budget reserves to cover loan guarantees to coal fired power stations that may flounder under the carbon tax.

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