Carbon tax debate continues

THE carbon tax is now a reality but the debate is set to continue on its effect on families and businesses in the Northern Rivers.

Director of Nickel Energy Nick Lake is in favour of the new tax because it puts a price on pollution.

"This really signals that the government wants to change to cleaner energy sources," he said.

Mr Lake is expecting a slight boost to his solar power business once the legislation is bedded down.

"The tax doesn't deliver any direct incentives to my business but it will increase the cost of power which will make solar more competitive," he said.

John Murray, Northern Rivers regional manager of the NSW Business Chamber, said business remained sceptical.

"A scheme of this size and complexity has never been tried anywhere in the world," he said.

"This package will take the Australian economy into uncharted waters.

"The reality is that every small business will pay for the tax through increased energy prices with little or no compensation."

The political debate also continued, with Opposition Leader Tony Abbot saying the carbon tax was as much Page MP Janelle Saffin's tax as it was Julia Gillard's.

"This new tax is a blow to the future of businesses in Page and a new burden for families struggling under cost-of-living increases. The tax will increase but the so-called compensation won't," Mr Abbott said.

Ms Saffin reiterated she was proud to be on the right side of history when she voted for the government's Clean Energy Future bills.

"I have kept faith with the electorate by being consistent in my support for a price on carbon," Ms Saffin said.

"The Australian Government will get on with the job of providing proper financial assistance to Australian households as we move to a clean energy future together."


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