Carbon tax to hit only 400 companies, Gov says

Despite initial concerns that the carbon tax will affect 1000 companies, the Government has now downgraded the hit list again to only 400 companies.

When Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the carbon price of $23 per tonne, she cut the number of affected companies in half to 500, and has now reduced the figure again, Ninemsn reports.

“Under the previous (Kevin Rudd carbon pollution reduction scheme) package the number that we thought was going to be in the system was more in the order of 700," climate change department secretary Blair Comley said.

"The number of emitters that we think will be covered is [now] more in the order of more like 400," Comley added.

He made the statements in front of a parliamentary inquiry into the proposed carbon tax.

This reduction is due to the treatment of liquid fuels and synthetic gases under the pricing scheme.

However, Comley did admit the 400 figure is not solid.

The Department of Climate Change knows which companies will come under the auspices of the current carbon tax.

“[But] the question is when we go to further activity there may be others that come forward," Comley stated.

The Government has also considered whether to postpone the introduction of the tax due to the massive downturns in the global financial markets.

However David Gruen told the parliamentary inquiry the answer to this is simply "No", adding that there is "no basis" for a delay in the carbon price’s introduction.

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