$1 billion carbon tax bill behind bill hikes, says treasurer
A $1 billion carbon tax bill is behind rising electricity prices for homes and businesses in NSW, the State Government claims.
A treasury analysis for the financial year showed the bulk of carbon tax costs left NSW electricity customers facing an estimated $580 million bill through increased electricity prices.
Treasurer Mike Baird said NSW'S electricity generation assets also faced a $355 million bill for stranded carbon costs. Mr Baird said the cost to the state budget was expected to be $237 million.
"The Gillard Government has refused to offer the NSW Government appropriate compensation to offset this tax and this is already having a significant impact on the State's electricity assets and our state's budget bottom line," he said in a statement today.
"However, it is the people of NSW who are suffering the most from these costs due to higher power prices across the state."
But Federal Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said the NSW Government reaped $1.5 billion in dividends and tax-equivalent payments from its energy businesses.
"...and is providing very little of that back to households," he told News Limited.
Shadow Minister for Climate Action, Environment and Heritage Greg Hunt said the costings strengthened the case for scrapping the carbon tax.
He said the State Transit Authority in NSW was recently added to the big polluters who are liable to pay the tax.
"We don't believe public transport users should be penalised with a carbon tax which doesn't even reduce Australia's emissions," he said.
"The carbon tax is set to rise again on 1 July this year and continue to increase each year, creating an automatic annual increase to people's power bills."
NSW CARBON TAX BILL
- Electricity customers - $580 million bill through increased prices
- Electricity generation assets - $355 million bill for stranded carbon costs
- Cost to the state budget - $237 million
- Government dividends and tax payments from energy businesses - $1.5 billion