New Aussie PM: “We will scrap the carbon tax”

Australia’s new Prime Minister has confirmed he intends to gun down the nation’s carbon tax. Tony Abbott was sworn in as Prime Minister today at a ceremony where he pledged […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Australia’s new Prime Minister has confirmed he intends to gun down the nation’s carbon tax.

Tony Abbott was sworn in as Prime Minister today at a ceremony where he pledged to “well and truly serve the people of Australia”, after a Liberal-National party coalition beat the incumbent Labor and Green party coalition in the September 9 election.

They won after an election campaign in which they criticised the carbon tax (pictured) for increasing the country’s electricity prices by 10% and gas prices by 9%.

The last Australian Government had a commitment to cut emissions by between 5% and 15% or 25% below 2000 levels by 2020, with a price on carbon was introduced on 1 July 2012.

Its unpopularity meant defeated Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had already promised to scrap the policy early but his successor looks set to demolish any trace of it.

Today at a swearing Mr Abbott told the guests: “We are determined to honour our commitments to scrap the carbon tax, to stop the boats, to get the budget under control and to build the roads of the 21st century.”

Last week in an interview with Australian TV network Nine, Mr Abbott described the carbon tax as a “toxic new tax” and “a handbrake on growth, investment and employment”.

Asked how long it would take for him to get the policy repealed, he said: “We will move calmly, purposefully and methodically to implement our agenda”.

Yesterday some commentators in Australia wanted the new government to go even further.

Viv Forbes, Chairman of the Carbon Sense Coalition, a group which describes itself as “concerned about the extent to which carbon is wrongly vilified” wrote in the Australian Conservative: “Killing the carbon tax is not enough to restore sanity to Australia’s energy policies – the Renewable Energy Targets must also be abolished.”