'No going back': PM likens carbon tax to GST

'No going back': PM likens carbon tax to GST

Sun July 1, 2012 1:36pm

JULIA Gillard says Tony Abbott will not be able to repeal the carbon tax if he wins power.

THE $23 per tonne price on carbon emissions started on Sunday, directly impacting on 294 electricity generators and other companies.

The federal government is aiming to cut carbon emissions by five per cent by 2020, with the carbon tax shifting to an emissions trading scheme in 2015.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott has pledged to repeal the tax as his first act as prime minister, should he win the next election.

Ms Gillard says he won't actually deliver on his promise.

"Businesses have got themselves ready for carbon pricing," she told ABC Television on Sunday.

"New investments have been made.

"Against all of that backdrop, Mr Abbott will find himself in a position where he cannot go to the next election pretending anything else than carbon pricing is going to stay."

Ms Gillard said the debate around the carbon tax resembled the debate on the GST when it was introduced by Prime Minister John Howard in 2000.

"I was opposed to the GST," Ms Gillard said.

"But once it was in operation, it was clear to all that there was no going back.

"Here we are, after all these years of the GST, a big divisive debate, and it's not something top of mind for anyone in Australia's public debate today."

Treasurer Wayne Swan said "today is the day that Tony Abbott is going to get mugged by the truth".

"I think we can all assume that the lies will keep coming from Mr Abbott," he told reporters in Brisbane.

"But their credibility will get less and less."

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