Carbon tax reignites debate

The introduction of the carbon tax has sparked angry debate between business leaders, community members, and both sides of politics.

On Twitter this morning Treasurer Wayne Swan said the tax's introduction had exposed false claims made by Opposition leader Tony Abbott.

Launching a two-week blitz to sell the tax to the public, Prime Minister Julia Gillard also sounded strong confidence in the policy.

At a doorstop interview in Melbourne Gillard said Australians could see for themselves that the "sky hasn't fallen in" and could judge from their own experience whether the carbon tax would damage the economy.

"Is the Sunday roast now costing $100?" she said.

"Has the coal industry closed down? Is my weekly shop now 20 per cent more expensive?"

"Of course, all of these claims are reckless and false."

"What Australians will see from carbon pricing is that we will seize a clean energy future; millions of Australians will see tax cuts, many of them around $300."

In a statement today the Minerals Council said the carbon tax would not "materially reduce emissions" but would impose large costs on the mining industry.

"Australia should be seeking to maximise the benefits of the boom, not putting new hurdles in the way of growth in investment, exports and jobs," it said.

Despite bad weather climate change skeptic Alan Jones led a rained-out carbon tax protest in Melbourne on the weekend.

"The notion of global warming is a hoax. This is witchcraft," he told the crowd.

Image @BruceBilsonMP

In Sydney Liberal MP Bronwyn Bishop and Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce led a similar rally and Bishop told protestors the next election would be a "referendum on the carbon tax".

Image: @GalileoMovement

AAP reports the latest Fairfax/Neilson poll shows support for the carbon tax has also taken a dive.

Opposition to the policy has risen three points to 62 per cent, while support is down four points, with 51 per cent of people surveyed believing they'll be worse off under the tax.

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