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Coalition stands by carbon tax pledge

Mon July 16, 2012 11:05am

VOTERS appear to have little faith in Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's "blood pledge" to scrap the carbon tax, but the coalition has no doubts.

It will use a double dissolution election to abolish the Labor measure, if that's what it takes.

Focus group research, obtained by The Australian Financial Review, suggests voters are sceptical that Mr Abbott will ever get rid of the tax if he becomes prime minister.

But senior Liberal Christopher Pyne insists the coalition is committed to repealing the tax.

"If the Senate is still controlled by the Labor Green alliance (after the next election), and they refuse to roll back the carbon tax, then we will have another election," Mr Pyne told Sky News on Monday.

"We are telling the Australian public right up front, we will abolish the carbon tax ... you couldn't be any clearer than that."

Mr Pyne said the next election, likely to be held in late 2013, will be a referendum on the carbon tax and not Labor's preferred ground of workplace relations.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard pushed industrial relations and jobs to the forefront of her government's bid for re-election in a speech to the NSW Labor conference on Sunday.

But Mr Pyne said she ignored the "elephant in the room" by not addressing the Greens and Labor alliance.

The prime minister was just "swinging in the breeze" while the half a dozen or so senior Labor figures waiting in the wings decided which one of them should take her place, he said.

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