13 September 2011 – On the day the carbon tax bill came before Parliament the federal government launched an attack on a 34 page “cheat sheet” on the proposal released by the Coalition, claiming it contains “misleading information.”

Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet today (Tuesday) said Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s claims contained in the cheat sheet were “full of distortions and untruths.”

Examples included:

  • Claims that taxpayers would be spending an estimated $3.5 billion in 2020 to buy up foreign carbon credits.

Mr Combet said when the carbon price mechanism moved to an emissions trading scheme, the government would sell a fixed number of carbon permits each year to polluters covered by the scheme. Polluters who did not buy enough Australian permits to meet their obligations would  have to either reduce their pollution or buy international permits (up to 50 per cent of their liability).

It would be the polluters who buy the international permits to meet their carbon price mechanism obligations, not the government.

The price would also not lead to job losses as claimed.

Mr Combet said Treasury modelling showed employment would continue to grow under a carbon price, with 1.6 million extra jobs created by 2020 with or without a carbon price.

  • The NSW government
    Mr Combet also accused the NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell of “blatantly exaggerating” the impact of a carbon price on public transport.

Mr O’Farrell said in July that the carbon price would increase public transport fares in Sydney by 3.6 per cent and warned that some commuters faced extra costs of $150 a year, Mr Combet said.

This contradicted documents released in the NSW Parliament on 12 September showing that the NSW Treasury had advised the State Government in August that the carbon price would increase public transport fares by just 0.49 per cent.