Keith Pitt MP Federal Member for HINKLER

Question Time - Carbon Tax impact on electricity prices

Mr PITT (Hinkler) (14:09): My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer outline the impact of the carbon tax on electricity prices for Queensland families and businesses? What are the impediments to removing the impact of the carbon tax?

Mr HOCKEY (North Sydney—The Treasurer) (14:09): I thank the member for Hinkler for his second question to me this week. He recognises how important it is for the parliament to repeal the carbon tax legislation, to get rid of the carbon tax, and how important it is for Queensland families and Queensland small businesses, because the carbon tax increases the cost of everything. Particularly, it increases the cost of doing business in Queensland.

Over the last two years the average Queensland family has paid more than $300 in carbon tax on their electricity bills. With the carbon tax removal, the typical Queensland household would save $116 next year, and the average family of four would save $174. That would go up to $240 with the abolition of the carbon tax—on just their electricity bills next year. Of course, on average, Australian families would be $550 better off next year with the abolition of the carbon tax.

So why are the Labor Party blocking this? The Labor Party said they wanted to terminate the carbon tax. The legislation is now in the Senate, and the Labor Party are opposing their own policy to terminate the carbon tax. A typical Queensland small business would save $152 next year in electricity prices if we got rid of the carbon tax, if they did not have that burden on their business. And that is just electricity—of course, it flows through to every part of the business. For example, for operators on the Barrier Reef, it flows through to the cost of fuel for their boats. It flows through in tourism to the electricity bills in the hotels, and that then flows through to every hotel bill.

So I would just say to the Labor Party: if you care about economic growth, the best thing you could possibly do at this moment is support the repeal of the carbon tax, because getting rid of the carbon tax, according to Treasury's own modelling, will improve economic growth. So, if you want to grow the economy, get rid of the carbon tax. If you want to help families, get rid of the carbon tax. If you want to help small businesses, get rid of the carbon tax. As we approach the release of the mid-year budget next week, surely the Labor Party will come to realise the best thing they could do for Australians is get rid of the carbon tax.

Authorised by Keith Pitt, Federal Member for Hinkler, 41b Woongarra Street, Bundaberg QLD 4670

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