Sunday, July 13th, 2014

The Senate’s two most fervent supporters of lowering taxes have said they may not be able to vote for the repeal of the carbon tax due to the last-minute inclusion of severe compliance amendments that have the potential to be worse than the tax itself.

Fresh off the back of securing an $80 a year tax saving in their first Senate week, Senators David Leyonhjelm of the Liberal Democratic Party and Bob Day of Family First said no one wants to abolish the carbon tax more than they do in order to save households an estimated $500 a year. The two however have grave concerns over extraordinarily onerous provisions inserted at the 11th hour by the Palmer United Party. These provisions force businesses to comply with more red tape and subject them to confusing requirements before they are advised that they have any obligations at all, with fines of $85,000 for things like not submitting a ‘Carbon Tax Removal Substantiation Notice’ on time.

“Power companies will simply pass these hefty fines for non-compliance onto consumers,” Mr Day said. “The Australian Energy Regulator, embedded within the ACCC, has shown no will to stop this in the past. Consumers will ultimately pay the draconian penalties imposed by these last-minute amendments. Businesses from small to medium to large will also suffer in compliance costs which, as sure as night follows day, will be passed on to consumers.”

Senator Leyonhjelm said he was worried the provisions would turn the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission into a Stalinist-style bully.

“The ACCC already has a big hammer, and it would be a mistake to give them a sickle too. We do not need new laws with the potential to turn business owners into criminals.”

Mr Day appealed to Clive Palmer’s business experience urging him to drop these provisions and let the repeal go through and later find a workable, constitutional enforcement regime without unintended consequences. “Clive understands business and would know what an impost this will be on business and consumers. The Palmer United Party are happy enough to push a ‘zero-priced’ emissions trading scheme after the carbon tax repeal – so I urge him to take up our suggestion in the same way.”
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Contact: LDP Gavin Atkins 0448 164 844
Family First: Rikki Lambert 0407 176 632

Keywords

Clive Palmer, carbon tax, Tony Abbott

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