Added by Elivia DeVries on March 6, 2011
As the debate over the government’s proposed price on carbon heats up, Acting Prime Minister Wayne Swan insists the measure is not a new tax.
With Prime Minister Julia Gillard visiting the US, Mr Swan has had to step up the defence of the proposed initiative.
“I accept that there’s a lot of confusion about the fact that we are bringing in an interim price, which people describe as a carbon tax,” he told media, but insisted that the priced carbon will not be taken from individuals’ pay but rather from the big polluters.
He also accused opposition for spinning a “big lie” to confuse people about the initiative.
Opposition leader Tony Abbott, however, said “If it acts like a tax and it hits you like a tax, it is a tax.”
Andrew Robb, opposition finance spokesman, called the measure “economic madness” and that “there is no environmental gain … we lose jobs and we export emissions.”
Cabinet minister Peter Garrett, on the other hand, argued that a price of carbon would help businesses gain certainty about the direction the economy is taking, and that such a price is the “best and lowest cost option” for reducing carbon emissions.