Monday, 10 September 2012
Higgins Electorate: Carbon Pricing
Millions of people will be better off under the carbon price. That was the claim made by the Prime Minister in her efforts to justify her broken promise to the Australian people. Yet just like her promise to the Australian people before the last election that there would be no carbon tax under her government—a promise she broke less than a month after the election—the Prime Minister's promise that 'millions will be better off' also does not withstand scrutiny and simply cannot be believed. In fact, millions will be worse off according to the government's own calculations. It is true that millions of small businesses will be worse off under this new carbon tax.
I want today to talk about one example in my own electorate of Higgins: the Malvernvale Hotel, which is located right across the road opposite my electorate office. They received their first power bill after the introduction of the carbon tax only to discover it had increased from $6,005.38 in June to $7,365.37 in July, a rise of $1,359.99. For the month of July, the carbon charge was $1,162.87, which represents 85.5 per cent of the increase and 15.8 per cent of the total bill. The Prime Minister has consistently claimed the carbon tax would increase electricity bills only by 10 per cent. Clearly, this is not the case. The Prime Minister's recent attempt to deflect attention from the carbon tax by shifting the issue of higher power prices to the states does not stand scrutiny. Of the increase in the Malvernvale Hotel's bill, 85.5 per cent—the overall majority—is directly attributable to the carbon tax.
To try to pin the blame on the states for the significant increase in the Malvernvale Hotel's power bill is downright wrong. It is also interesting to note that the government is only now looking to take action against the states on electricity prices. It was this government that took no action as state Labor governments increased power prices through unsustainable feed-in tariffs for some green electricity schemes. Coalition state governments are now having to fix Labor's mess, and for the Prime Minister to attempt to shift the blame to the states is the ultimate hypocrisy.
There is, of course, a better way, and we all know what that is: to get rid of the government's carbon tax, a tax that has required two major changes within its first nine weeks of operation. We know that there is a better way. The better was is to elect a government that is guided by principles and competence, a government that will act in people's interests and not simply talk about it: a coalition government.