Senator Christine Milne said on Tuesday that the Greens Party will not support the increase in fuel tax proposed by the Coalition in the federal budget for 2014-15. The move is expected to blow a multibillion-dollar hole in the first budget of the Abbott government.
With Labor, the Greens and the Palmer United Party vowing to block the measure in the Senate, the federal government is expected to have a revenue deficiency of $2.4 billion over four years.
Milne said the Greens would vote against the measure with no negotiations because it is simply a tax on families who have little or no access to public transportation. In contrast, giant mining companies will continue to claim fuel subsidies. She added that Prime Minister Tony Abbott told U.S. President Barack Obama that the fuel excise would act as carbon tax.
Mr Abbott estimated the fuel tax hike would add 40 cents a week during the first year of implementation to cost of the average Australian family.
She said, "The package that ... is going to be put to the Parliament on fuel excise would see revenue raised to go purely to roads, purely to add more congestion to our cities, more pollution from vehicles, and not do a thing for public transport, for getting people to be able to drive less and when they do drive to drive more efficiently."
Labor leader Bill Shorten said that besides blocking the fuel excise, the Opposition would also remove from the proposed budget the $876 a year seniors supplement, freeze payment rates for Family Tax benefits, raising of the retirement age to 70 and the six months wait for eligibility to unemployment benefits.