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Abbott on carbon campaign trail

Sun July 1, 2012 1:18pm

Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has kicked off a "truth campaign" against the carbon tax, stepping up his promise to kill the tax if he wins office.

MR Abbott said carbon pricing was a "bad tax based on a lie" as he unveiled a mobile billboard in Melbourne emblazoned with the coalition's promise to repeal the tax.

He dismissed Prime Minister Julia Gillard's assertions that the carbon tax debate was akin to the introduction of the GST and would be too difficult to scrap.

Unlike the carbon tax, the GST was an "orthodox economic reform", he said.

"John Howard went to the election and sought a mandate for the GST, so his political conduct was entirely honourable, unlike the conduct of this prime minister over this tax," Mr Abbott told reporters.

Mr Abbott said a coalition government would introduce legislation to repeal the tax on it's first day in office.

"That is my pledge to the people of Australia. If you elect a coalition government there will be no carbon tax and I can be believed when I say there will be no carbon tax under the government I lead."

Mr Abbott was in the leafy eastern suburb of Blackburn to unveil a mobile billboard, which had a photo of his face and the words: Our Pledge. We'll immediately legislate to scrap the carbon tax.

The coalition leader said "decent, ordinary people" would be worse off under the tax, which would hit the cost of living and job security and would not reduce emissions.

Earlier he visited one of the "forgotten families of Australia" to discuss how the carbon tax would affect their bottom line.

Over a cup of tea, Mr Abbott thumbed through utility bills as Mario and Matoula Romeo talked about the increasing cost of living pressures on their family of five.

"Everything on this table is going to be more expensive with the carbon tax - the boiled water, the food," Mr Abbott said.

What riles people most was that they were given a "categoric assurance" before the election that there would be no carbon tax, he said.

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