Rio boss says Labor not delivering on carbon tax

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Rio Tinto Australia managing director David Peever has criticised the Government for failing to deliver on the carbon tax principles it agreed on with business leaders.

Peever said the Government was ignoring the principles it had drawn up with the business round-table, which includes companies such as Qantas, Woolworths, and Shell.

He said the principles of environmental effectiveness, budget neutrality, competitiveness of Australian industries, investment certainty, and administrative simplicity had not been addressed.

He also said the carbon tax was coming at the wrong time and would put a dent in already low business confidence levels.

But another round-table member, Investor Group on Climate Change chief executive Nathan Fabian said it was too early to make such a judgement.

The federal government responded to the accusations by telling The Financial Review its carbon package was “completely consistent” with the agreed upon principles.

Peever said Australia was “locking in lost competitive advantage” under the carbon tax and the concerns of businesses were falling on “deaf ears”.

But Fabian said the principles agreed upon in the round-table were based on business submissions from a variety of viewpoints, and it was not appropriate for individual companies to speak on behalf of the group.

“Every group put in their own version and it would be inaccurate for anyone to comment on whether the priorities were broken from the perspective of other members of the round-table,” he said.

The federal government is preparing to introduce the carbon tax legislation to parliament on Tuesday.

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