Greg Combet

9 August 2012   – Environment Minister Greg Combet has trumpeted  an apparent backdown by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s “blood oath” that if elected he would immediately repeal the carbon tax and the Clean Energy Future plan.

“Two months ago Mr Abbott crab-walked away from his claims that the carbon price would act like a wrecking ball on the economy,” Mr Combet said.

“Now he is suggesting the carbon price should be put on hold rather than repealed,” pointing to comments by Mr Abbott reported on Wednesday:

If the Prime Minister was serious about taking the cost of living pressure off families, she would scrap the carbon tax, at least put it on hold for a few years …” See article in The Sydney Morning Herald article, Gillard threatens to use shock therapy on electricity prices

Mr Combet said: “Over the last few weeks the Coalition’s position has shifted from immediate repeal of the carbon price, to repeal more than a year after the next election, to putting it on hold.

“By the time of the next election, the carbon price will have been in place for more than a year, businesses will have made major investment decisions, emitters will have purchased carbon permits and carbon market traders will have entered contracts.

“Farmers will have established carbon farming projects, manufacturers will be investing in energy efficient equipment funded by the $1 billion Clean Technology Investment programs, and households will still be receiving tax cuts, higher family payments and pension increases funded by the carbon price.

“Countries around the world will be taking action to tackle climate change, including carbon pricing, and continuing with negotiations for a new international climate change agreement.

“The reality is that repealing the clean energy legislation would leave millions of households worse off and would be hugely disruptive to business.

“Common sense tells you Mr Abbott can’t – and won’t – repeal the carbon price.”

The Fifth Estate has requested a response from Mr Abbott’s office.