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Businesses planning carbon tax hikes

Businesses planning carbon tax hikes

Sun July 1, 2012 2:12pm

MORE than 40 per cent of businesses will put up prices immediately now the carbon tax has come into effect, Australia's peak industry association says.

Australian Industry Group (Ai) says it has found that 40 per cent of manufacturing businesses, 40 per cent of services businesses and 44 per cent of construction businesses will try to pass the tax on to consumers from today.

''(Our) survey marking the start of the carbon tax has found a big proportion of businesses (42 per cent) ... will try to put up their prices immediately following the introduction of the scheme today,'' said Ai Group chief executive Innes Willox in a statement.

He said the results were based on a survey of members in the second half of June in which they were asked about their plans to increase prices in response to the carbon tax.

Mr Willox said 60 per cent of construction material suppliers, 82 per cent of communications services businesses and 48 per cent of retail traders planned to increase their prices.

To a lesser degree, 11 per cent of food and beverage makers and 22 per cent of finance, insurance, accommodation, cafes and restaurant businesses said they would pass on the costs.

Mr Willox said there was also uncertainty over what role the consumer watchdog, the ACCC, would play in determining whether price hikes were fair.

Businesses needed to be careful not to overstate the impact of the carbon tax in raising prices, he says.

Earlier, the NSW Business Chamber urged businesses in the state to go online and share stories about how the carbon tax was affecting them as part of a campaign against the tax. The chamber has launched an online portal where people can share their experience.

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