BALLARAT MP Catherine King has said the repeal of the carbon tax would hit the environment and do little to improve the cost of living for families hurt by the budget.
“Tony Abbott has said every household will be $550 better off but cannot guarantee it.
“What I do know is his budget will hit Ballarat families hard with his new GP tax, increased costs for medicines, cuts to family payments, changes to pensions and higher petrol prices,” Ms King said.
The repeal was passed on Thursday after almost two weeks of drama in the Senate, when Clive Palmer blocked the repeal because he was not satisfied with the penalties for businesses that do not pass on decreased costs to customers.
Beyond Ballarat, Ms King said the environmental message it sent was concerning.
“Tony Abbott has made Australia the first country to reverse action on climate change as he continues to wilfully ignore the science,” she said.
Ballarat senator John Madigan voted to repeal the tax, and said last week he was confident it would help Australian business.
In an emailed statement, Victorian Liberal senator Michael Ronaldson trumpeted the repeal, repeating the government’s line that families would save an average of $550 a year due to reduced power costs for themselves and businesses.
“Today’s vote by the Senate to repeal the carbon tax is great news for local families and small businesses”, he said.
“Ballarat residents have told me that they are concerned about how this unfair tax has imposed a real burden on their small businesses and their family.”
When the carbon tax swung into action in 2012, former City of Ballarat mayor Mark Harris estimated it would cause an extra 10 per cent in waste management charges, as well as $1.5 million a year in extra energy costs for the council.
A council statement said rates would not be adjusted following the repeal, because it “was not included in council’s waste charge”.