Promised carbon tax repeal savings may not equal $550

CONSUMERS could soon be given some reprieve from the carbon tax, but the Abbott Government's promised $550 a year in savings from the repeal may not eventuate.

When Prime Minister Tony Abbott launched the Liberal Party's federal election campaign in August last year, he pledged that every household would be $550 a year better off if the carbon tax was repealed.

But, after months of debate and confirmation this week that the Palmer United Party will support the abolition of the tax on Wednesday, critics say the savings will be less than promised.

While Clive Palmer's confirmation he will help abolish the tax, he also opposes the government's direct action plan, leaving Australia without a carbon emission reductions scheme altogether.

Mr Palmer's only concrete condition attached to the abolition seems to be enforcing power suppliers to pass the savings on to consumers.

The savings will vary across state and territory borders, but recent figures.

The Climate Institute chief executive John Connor said recent figures from the Energy Supply Association of Australia suggest the savings will total between $80 and $200.

But the association has not been able to confirm the specific figures, with a spokeswoman saying the repeal would result in differing savings, but unlikely to reach the $550 promised.

Instead, association chief executive Matthew Warren said delaying the repeal would only delay the potential savings, without saying what the specific savings were likely to be.

"Immediate repeal in July remains the best way for the Senate to pass on full and immediate savings to consumers,' he said.

While the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is already monitoring the effects, and will watch the effects of the repeal, the complexity of the tax and how it is passed on will mean different savings for all households.

The carbon tax has added some 7% to 10% to power bills on average, but falling demand for power and the complexity of the energy market has clouded the effect of the tax on bills.

As the climate change political debate takes on a new vigour after Mr Palmer's announcement this week, consumers could keep paying the cost not just on power bills, but charges at landfills and potentially water bills.

Due to the heated debate in the Senate, and the reality the repeal cannot pass until after July 1, Mr Abbott has previously pledged to backdate savings to that date.

But the actual savings will depend on not just legislative changes, so far unclear, but also how councils, electricity firms, power suppliers and other businesses react to the now-expected repeal.



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