PM Tony Abbott Secures Support of Clive Palmer to Repeal Carbon Tax
By Vittorio Hernandez | June 27, 2014 10:14 AM EST
The Australian Senate will vote on the proposed repeal of the Labor government-initiated carbon tax sometime between July 7 and 15. Prime Minister Tony Abbott expressed confidence on Thursday that the legislation would pass following his meeting with Clive Palmer who agreed to support the measure.
Australia's Parliamentary proceedings was disrupted by protesters in the public gallery, which led to their being ejected by security guards.
However, Palmer made demands on the Coalition in exchange for his support. It includes lower electricity prices, a second round of household assistance which would cost the government $700 million, sparing from the chopping block of 2 climate agencies and the renewable energy target to be left untouched until 2016.
Palmer said, quoted by Nine, "It was a constructive meeting, something you'd hope from a prime minister that had the responsibility for these serious issues in Australia."
However, Labor called the sureness of Mr Abbott as a stunt. West Australian Premier Colin Barnett warned the PM of dealing with Palmer whom he described as a volatile person.
Labor said it would oppose the repeal unless there would be a credible emissions trading scheme to replace the levy. The worry of the Greens is the tax is repealed ad Palmer rejects the Coalition's alternative policy, which would leave the country without a climate action plan.
The compromise with Palmer is the result of additional numbers of the PUP party in the Senate by July 1 with the entry of Liberal Democratic Party Senator David Leyonhjelm and Family First's Bob Day.
Mr Abbott said Australians would enjoy $550 a year in savings with the repeal of the carbon tax, of which $200 would be from lower electricity bills, while other savings would come from lower cost of transport, water and waste management.
"This government will deliver on its commitment to abolish the carbon tax and I'm delighted that crossbench senators will deliver on their commitment to abolish this toxic tax once and for all," Mr Abbott told Parliament.
Also on Thursday, the lower house passed the carbon tax repeal bill for the second time.
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