Australia carbon tax faces backlash

A carbon tax put in place by the Australian government has drawn flak, according to reports.Julia Gillard, Australia’s Prime Minister announced that 500 of the biggest polluters in Australia will […]

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By Vicky Ellis

A carbon tax put in place by the Australian government has drawn flak, according to reports.Julia Gillard, Australia’s Prime Minister announced that 500 of the biggest polluters in Australia will have to pay A$23 (£15) for every tonne of carbon they create from July next year.

The carbon price comes as part of a clean energy package aimed at cutting pollution and driving investment in new clean energy sources such as solar, gas and wind.

In an address to the country, Ms Gillard said: “By 2020 our carbon price will take 160 million tonnes of pollution out of the atmosphere every year. That’s the equivalent of taking forty five million cars off the road.”

Ms Gillard said that some of the cost paid by big polluters will be passed through to the prices of Australian goods. To counter this, she said that most of the money raised from the carbon price will be used to fund tax cuts, pension increases and higher family payments.

However the move has proved unpopular with some in the country.

Tony Abbott, Leader of the Opposition in Australia said: “It’s pretty obvious that the more Australian families consider the details of the Prime Minister’s announcement, the less they like it,” reported The Australian.

The paper reported that only 30 per cent of people were in favour of the plans for a carbon price and 59 per cent were against, in a poll carried out before full details were announced.