House debates

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Questions without Notice

Carbon Pricing

3:03 pm

Photo of Kelly O'DwyerKelly O'Dwyer (Higgins, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Madam Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Small Business. Minister, will you update the House on how the abolition of the carbon tax is reducing costs for small businesses in my electorate of Higgins and throughout the nation?

Photo of Bruce BillsonBruce Billson (Dunkley, Liberal Party, Minister for Small Business) Share this | | Hansard source

Thank you to the exceptional member for Higgins for this very important question. I am pleased to report that energy consumers right across the country will soon be getting, if they have not already, a notification just like this one telling them how the Abbott government's abolition of the carbon tax is going to save them money on their gas and electricity bills and how, now that we have done what we said we would do—that is, abolish the carbon tax—they are in a better position, whether it be in their small business or in their household, to manage their budgetary pressures. So while we are fixing the budget of the nation, the abomination of a budget situation left to us by Labor, we are also helping Australian small businesses and families with their budgets. The government went to the election promising a strong and prosperous economy for a safe and secure Australia, and this is part of our economic action plan to do that.

Pleasingly, those substantiation notices or statements, that extensive array of measures that we have worked hard to put in place to make sure those savings are passed through, are coming in from electricity and gas retailers to the ACCC. They are published on the website, so everybody can see them. That is the requirement that is put in place to support the flowthrough of those savings to Australian small businesses and consumers.

The great news for small businesses in the electorate of Higgins is that they are among some of those who will gain the most in terms of savings from the repeal of the carbon tax. The savings that have been calculated, they range from about 7.4 per cent all the way through to 10 per cent, depending on your retailer, with average savings of just over nine per cent. That is great news—great news for businesses in Higgins, great news for small businesses across the country. So if you are a cafe in Carnegie or in Malvern and you are an AGL customer and your bill is about $4,000 a quarter, that is just under $400 of savings on your costs. And isn't that great news for all cafes, great news for all bakeries, great news for all corner stores. It will be more affordable to run your pie warmer now. You will be able to afford to run your pie warmer and not risk an aggressive customer, unhappy about a cold pie.

As we build, as we put in place that economic action plan to recover those 519,000 jobs in small business lost under Labor, this is part of our re-energising enterprise. For anybody who has some concerns about whether those carbon tax savings have been passed through, get onto the tough carbon cop at the ACCC. We have funded it so that it can keep doing its work. It has the tools that we have worked hard to provide through this parliament, and anyone who is anxious about it, give the 1300302502 helpline a call. And if you want to keep those pressures out of your business, those cost pressures out of your household, you have to keep Labor out because they love the carbon tax. They want it back and they want to put pressure on a small business about whether they can run their pie warmer or not.