CARBON TAX TO AFFECT 75 PER CENT OF BUSINESS

CARBON TAX TO AFFECT 75 PER CENT OF BUSINESS

RESEARCH data by the Chamber of Commerce & Industry Queensland shows that 75 per cent of businesses it surveyed indicated the proposed Gillard Government carbon tax would have a negative effect on their business.

Findings from the survey were unveiled today as the Government tabled its Carbon Tax Bill in Federal Parliament.

The Chamber of Commerce & Industry Queensland (CCIQ) surveyed 750 Queensland businesses to gauge views and the impact of the tax.

Queensland SME’s overwhelmingly reported that it would reduce their viability by inflating costs. With SME’s representing 95 per cent of all of Queensland’s businesses, it also predicts a hard hit to the state’s economy.

CCIQ proposes the Federal Government explore alternatives in its newly released ‘Blueprint for harnessing Queensland’s Green Productivity Potential’.

CCIQ president David Goodwin says the carbon tax policy process was ‘poorly developed’, with little consultation or reflection on what would work for Australia by considering what has worked better for our international competitors.

“From the beginning, this policy became a piecemeal of little consultation or sensible thought about the economic consequences. If Queensland businesses had been consulted properly, the tax would reflect that our state is the most decentralised in the country and is also unfairly punished with higher transport costs,” he says.

“Seventy five per cent of the 750 businesses back this conclusion, indicating the tax would have a negative effect on their business.”

Goodwin says despite strong growth predicted in the mining sector, Queensland businesses are still struggling to survive and provide jobs.

“This tax is going to hit Queensland’s traditional industries like agriculture and tourism like a hammer breaking their already fragile financial position,” he says.

“If the Federal Government could learn anything from China, the EU and other, it’s to trial the scheme and test if before hitting a delicate economy with a flawed scheme.

“The July 1 2012 commencement data is unrealistic and unfair on business – it suits political motivations, not economic reality.”

Goodwin says businesses acknowledge they need to take action, but a tax was not the best way to bring about this change in behaviour.

“Opposing the carbon tax isn’t enough – businesses acknowledge action should be taken, but not one that damages the economy beyond repair,” he says.

“The tax creates considerable incentive for domestic business to move offshore and for foreign investment to stay out of Australia. The greatest challenge is to reduce our emission while maintaining our position in the international economy – it doesn’t have to be a one for the other policy solution.

“CCIQ’s policy blue print proposed real alternatives over a staged process involving incentivising innovation in a way that SME’s will actually take up.”

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