Michael Sukkar MP

Federal Member for Deakin
Assistant Treasurer
Minister for Housing
Minister for Homelessness, Social and Community Housing
image description

Benefits of the Carbon Tax Repeal

It gives me pleasure to rise today to speak on something that is having a huge impact in my electorate of Deakin, and that is the repeal of the carbon tax. As all members in this place know, the government made a firm commitment to the Australian people before the last election that, should we be elected, we would immediately move to repeal the carbon tax. This was a commitment I was proud to campaign on when I sought election to this House last year.

There were many in Labor who tried to say that the matter was settled, that the carbon tax was here to stay and that we would not be able to repeal it. Even worse, the Labor Party dishonestly said that, even if we were able to repeal the carbon tax, energy prices would not decrease. These predictions of the Labor Party were just as bad as their budgetary forecasts in government.

Last week, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released consumer price index data for the September quarter of 2014, the first since the scrapping of the carbon tax. The numbers show that electricity prices had the largest fall since 1980. In my own state of Victoria, power bills are up to 12.4 per cent lower than they would have been had Labor and the Greens got their way and maintained the tax. We are proud to have delivered upon our commitment to cheaper electricity prices—no thanks to Labor, who did everything they could in the Senate to ensure the survival of the carbon tax.

In my own electorate of Deakin, an area of Melbourne with a thriving small business sector, the scrapping of the carbon tax is also having very favourable impacts. I have spoken to business owners in Deakin who have reported to me the real benefits that it is having on their bottom line. These include the Pauls Supa IGA, an independent supermarket with stores in Ringwood East and Heathmont, who have significantly lower electricity prices; Daisy’s Garden Supplies in Ringwood, who have told me that they will reinvest their savings into employing more staff; and Alfatron, an electronic component manufacturer in Ringwood, which says it can now better compete against its European competitors.

Of course, reduced power prices will almost certainly bring down the cost of a range of goods and services throughout the economy. As this happens, this will provide further indirect benefits to business and consumers in Deakin and indeed throughout the country. During Labor’s time in office, power prices rose by as much as 101 per cent, bringing many small businesses to breaking point. That is why we have scrapped the carbon tax. We are the party that are committed to lower power prices for families and businesses. Bill Shorten and Labor want to reverse all of this. I look forward to the Labor Party going to the next election promising to reinstitute the carbon tax!