The Federal Government passed the carbon tax through the lower house of federal parliament, yesterday.
So how will this new tax affect you?
Who actually pays the carbon tax?
Roughly 500 big-emitting companies in Australia will pay for each tonne of carbon they emit. The list isn’t yet fixed, but the biggest emitters include electricity wholesalers such Macquarie Generation and Delta Electricity, resources companies such as Woodside Petroleum, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, and intensive industries such as steel, aluminium, glass and paper makers.
Will that make ordinary things more expensive?
Yes, some things. The government acknowledges these costs will be passed to customers. They expect the average household’s cost of living will rise $9.90 a week. This includes $3.30 in electricity, $1.50 in gas and 80 cents for food. Essentially anything made in Australia by a company that is paying the carbon tax may rise in price.
What about my car?
Car fuel won’t be affected by the carbon tax.
And other transport?
Airlines will pay either the carbon price or an equivalent on their fuel. That will push up the cost of a domestic flight sector by $2 according the government, $3.50 according to Qantas.
Rail freight and shipping will be subject to an equivalent carbon price on their fuel. The cost of fuel for trucks will rise after July 2014. This may push up the price of some goods as transport companies pass on the costs.
What do I get as compensation?
The government says the average household will get $10.10 a week in extra benefits and tax breaks. These include:
Tax: The tax-free threshold will rise. Currently, taking into account a low-income tax offset, you don’t start paying tax until you earn more than $16,000. In 2012, that will rise to $20,542, then to $20,979 by 2015. More than 1 million people will not have to fill out tax returns.
Source: For the full story, visit the Sydney Morning Herald website.
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