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Planet Ark World Environment News Australia Releases Updated Carbon Tax Modeling

Date: 22-Sep-11
Country: AUSTRALIA
Author: Rob Taylor

Australia's government released new figures on Wednesday on the predicted impact of a planned carbon tax, showing personal incomes would be cut by just 0.1 percentage points each year to 2050 under the scheme.

The Treasury department modeling, based on the minority government's proposed A$23-a-tonne ($23.44) carbon price, showed almost no difference to previously released figures based on a lower A$20 cost.

"The economy continues to grow strongly under a carbon price, with real gross national income per person growing at an average rate of 1.1 per cent to 2050," Treasurer Wayne Swan said in a statement.

"Jobs grow strongly under a carbon price, with national employment expected to increase by 1.6 million jobs to 2020," Swan said.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard introduced her government's controversial carbon tax plans into parliament earlier this month in a third attempt to legislate a price on pollution.

Gillard has staked the one-seat government's future on passing the laws, which would force around 500 big polluting companies to pay for carbon emissions through a A$23 per tonne carbon tax from July 2012, ahead of emissions trading from mid 2015. Earlier plans to levy a tax were rejected in 2009.

The modeling left unchanged a forecast that it would lift consumer prices by 0.7 percent in fiscal year 2012-13, but Swan said the increased cost would add an extra 5 million tonnes in domestic abatement over the first three years.

A further 0.2 percent increase is expected in fiscal 2015-16, as the fixed-price carbon tax gives way to the world's most extensive emissions trading scheme outside Europe.

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