Treasurer and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Tim Nicholls

Labor’s costly carbon tax cuts deep

FEDERAL Labor’s toxic carbon tax will cost Queensland jobs and impact business competitiveness, Treasurer Tim Nicholls has warned.

Mr Nicholls said the carbon tax, which will come into effect today, would hit Queensland harder than any other state.

“The tax is forecast to reduce Queensland’s economic output (Gross State Product) by almost $10 billion a year by 2020,” Mr Nicholls said.

“Disturbingly, the Commission of Audit found that the impact of the carbon tax could see Queensland’s bottom line take a $1.6 billion hit over the next four years.

“But this toxic tax won’t just impact the Government through higher expenses and lower revenues.

“Taxing our export industries, which are already battling the higher Australian dollar, will do nothing to improve our competitiveness in the global economy.

“The carbon tax will severely harm the state’s economic growth, reduce the living standards of everyday Queenslanders and lead to highe r electricity bills.”

Mr Nicholls said around 100 Queensland businesses would be forced to pay the tax, leaving them little choice but to pass on costs to customers and suppliers.

“This includes many local councils, which will have no choice but to pass the cost of this tax on to ratepayers,” he said.

“In its recent budget Brisbane City Council indicated the carbon tax was responsible for 40 per cent of its 4.5 per cent rate increase.”

Mr Nicholls said modelling from Queensland Treasury and Deloitte Access Economics, which used the Commonwealth Government’s own assumptions, found that by 2020:

• As many as 21,000 Queensland jobs could be lost
• Real wages could be reduced by up to $2,940

He said it was especially disappointing that the carbon tax would take effect on the same day as the Newman Government’s first wave of measures designed to deliver cost of living relief.

“While we’re working to reduce th e financial strain on Queenslanders by reintroducing the principal place of residence transfer duty concession, increasing the payroll tax exemption threshold and freezing the standard electricity tariff, Federal Labor is whacking on a great big new tax,” Mr Nicholls said.

“There is no hiding the fact that Queenslanders would have enjoyed a reduction in their power bills this year were it not for the introduction of the carbon tax.

“It’s expected power costs will increase by about 40 per cent for small businesses.

“So while the LNP is working to drive down household costs, Federal Labor – cheered on by their state counterparts – seems determined to make things harder for Queenslanders.”

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