The Gillard Government’s hidden carbon tax on fuel will hit more than 1500 NT businesses

At least 1500 Northern Territory businesses face a new 6.2 cents per litre tax on fuel under the Gillard Government’s carbon tax.

The figures were released earlier this week as part of The Minerals Council of Australia’s response to the federal government’s proposed Clean Energy Future Legislation.

Under the proposed carbon tax, hundreds of NT businesses will face 6.2 cents per litre reduction in the diesel fuel rebate, with that impost increasing steadily as the carbon tax increases.

The new fuel tax contradicts the Government’s own claims that only 400 ‘big polluters’ nationally will pay the carbon tax.

The carbon tax on fuel will particularly hit Northern Territory mining operations, the communities that host them and the businesses that service them.

In addition to mining operations, the carbon tax on fuel will hit Northern Territory construction, manufacturing, retail and wholesale trades as well as tourism operators, local governments and hospitals and health care providers.

ATO data also shows that Territory businesses will be hit 5 times as hard by the tax as average businesses in other States.

According to Tax Office data, NT businesses claim an average of $55,000 under the fuel tax credit scheme. The reduction in the credit as a result of the new carbon tax will mean that NT businesses will face additional costs of $9,200.

Analysis of national taxation statistics shows that the proposed carbon tax on fuel will impose an immediate direct cost on more than 60,000 individual businesses nationwide , not just 400-500 ‘big polluters’ as claimed by the Government.

In the first 3 years, the carbon tax on fuel will raise $3.3 billion, a significant share of which will come from Northern Territory businesses. By 2020, the tax on fuel alone will have raised $16 billion nationally.

“It is imperative that the Northern Territory Government make urgent representations to the Gillard Government to urgently reconsider the carbon tax, said Peter Stewart, Executive Director of Northern Territory Division of the Minerals Council of Australia.

“It is a tax that will exacerbate the disadvantage of distance already suffered by NT businesses across all sectors,” Mr Stewart said.

This number of affected businesses will increase to more than 100,000 on 1 July 2014, when the road freight sector, including tens of thousands of owner drivers, will be liable for the carbon tax on fuel.

Newly released data also highlights the fact that Australia is doing better, not worse than other nations in constraining emissions.

In 2010, Australia’s emissions actually fell by 0.6 per cent, while emissions in China’s grew by 10.4 per cent and by 3.9 per cent in the US.[1]  The increase in China emissions in 2010 alone was 780 million tonnes CO2e – more than 1 and a half times Australia’s entire annual emissions.

The one year increase alone in China’s emissions was 45 times the total emissions from the Northern Territory last year.

[1] See Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Quarterly Update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, March Quarter, 2011.  BP Statistical review of Energy, June 2011.  Energy Information Administration, U.S. Energy-Related carbon Dioxide Emissions 2010, 18 August 2011.


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