Abbott Gathers Support to Scrap Carbon Pricing, Mining Tax
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott will get enough support from minor parties to pass legislation repealing the country’s carbon-price mechanism and mining-profits tax, the Australian newspaper reported.
To deliver election pledges to scrap the charges enacted by the previous Labor government, Abbott needs the support of at least six senators outside his Liberal-National coalition. Three legislators from the Palmer United Party and three others from minor parties will vote with the coalition to repeal the levies in Australia’s Senate, the paper reported today.
“We are a libertarian party, we’ll support any move to lower taxes,” Liberal Democratic Party Senator-elect David Leyonhjelm said by phone. Abbott should win backing to repeal the levies, Leyonhjelm said, adding he had not discussed voting intentions with other incoming senators.
Abbott’s Liberal-National coalition, which won a majority in Australia’s lower house in a Sept. 7 election, is set to hold 33 of the 76 seats in the upper house when the new Senate forms on July 1, according to the Australian Electoral Commission.
The new leader has pledged to dismantle Australia’s carbon pricing, which charges more than 300 of the country’s largest emitters, and instead spend A$2.9 billion ($2.7 billion) on incentives to curb emissions. A 30 percent tax on coal and iron ore profits, which Abbott is also seeking to remove, was forecast to raise A$4.4 billion in the four years to June 30, 2017, the Treasury said in August.
The Democratic Labour Party will support repeal, President Paul Funnell said by phone, after the Australian reported party Senator John Madigan would back the move. The Palmer United Party, formed six months ago by mining magnate Clive Palmer, is on course to win three seats and has previously said it will support Abbott’s plans.
Family First Senator-elect Bob Day, who told the Australian he’d vote in line with the Coalition, didn’t immediately respond to a phone call to his office seeking comment. Labor, on course for 26 senate spots, and the Greens, expected to secure nine seats, are unlikely to support Abbott’s plans.
“It’s not going to be easy as he thinks,” Greens leader Christine Milne said in an e-mailed statement. “With the Senate not even finalized, he’s going to be dealing with an unsteady, unstable and unreliable mix.”
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