Saturday, October 05, 2013

Senators line up with Tony Abbott to axe taxes

Great news!  I don't normally blog on Saturday but I could not resist putting this up.  Gillard will be shirty to see her major "achievement" flushed down the toilet.  With more compromise Gillard might have achieved bipartisanship for her policies.  And that would have produced something more lasting.  But Leftists don't like compromise.  They want it all.  And that generates no compromise from the other side too

Note the addled and hate-filled response of the Greens

TONY Abbott will have the numbers to scrap the carbon and mining taxes from July next year after the Palmer United Party and three crossbench senators confirmed they would back his mandate, eliminating the threat of a double-dissolution election.

As the Prime Minister won support to repeal Labor's carbon pricing regime, he said the Greens' loss of the balance of power in the upper house was a "great political achievement for the Coalition".

The Coalition will have 33 votes in the 76-seat chamber when the make-up of the new Senate begins on July 1. It means Mr Abbott, who has a substantial majority in the House of the Representatives, will need the support of six of the eight crossbench senators to pass his agenda.

The PUP, which has three senators subject to the outcome of an appeal by the Greens in Western Australia, along with the Liberal Democratic Party, Democratic Labour Party and Family First senators confirmed to The Weekend Australian that they would vote to abolish the carbon and mining taxes.

The LDP's incoming senator David Leyonhjelm said: "I guarantee I'll vote in favour of repealing both of those. I'll vote for any reduction in taxes."

Family First's senator-elect Bob Day said: "If the Labor Party has got any sense, it will recognise just what's happened in the last three years on both the mining tax and the carbon tax and vote for the repeal of both. If they don't and Abbott has to wait until July 1, I certainly will be voting for their repeal."

The PUP's West Australian senator-elect, Zhenya Wang, reaffirmed the formal position of Clive Palmer's party to scrap the taxes, saying "the carbon tax is punishing ordinary Australian people".

DLP senator John Madigan said: "Basically, I'm not in favour of the carbon tax."

With the Coalition able to pass its two key election commitments next year, Mr Abbott avoids the prospect of forcing Australians back to the polls for a double-dissolution election.

However, the Coalition is expected to bring on an early vote to repeal the carbon tax, thereby forcing Labor to take a formal position in parliament. Environment Minister Greg Hunt said: "Our focus is on Labor and whether it will listen to the Australian people or ignore the strong message sent by the electorate at the election. No matter who leads Labor, every day they support the carbon tax is another day they support higher electricity prices."

Legislation to axe the carbon tax will be introduced in the first parliamentary sitting, expected in mid-November.

Labor leadership contenders Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese have said they will not support unwinding the carbon and mining taxes.

Greens leader Christine Milne said Mr Abbott would need to engage in serious negotiations with the crossbench senators.

"I wonder what the rest of Australia thinks about Prime Minister Abbott taking credit for the bizarre make-up of the new Senate," Senator Milne said. "He wants the Senate to wave through his cruel, ideological and secretive agenda, but it simply won't."

Mr Abbott yesterday told 2GB radio that managing the Senate had been a challenge for previous prime ministers.

"While it's not going to be easy and I'm going to have to treat every member of parliament, including every member of the Senate, with respect and courtesy ... I think we will be able to form an effective government in the Senate as well as in the House of Representatives," he said.

He conceded he expected "a few management issues" in negotiating with the new Senate and cautioned Mr Palmer to learn from former NSW independents Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor.

"Hopefully people like Clive will have learnt the lesson of the last parliament which is: if you get elected as a conservative and then act like a socialist, well you get punished by the electors and that's as it should be," he said.

A PUP spokesman confirmed it was party policy to scrap both taxes.

Mr Wang told the ABC: "I believe in climate change but I don't believe (the) carbon tax is the right solution. Essentially, the carbon tax is punishing ordinary Australian people. The mining tax is an ill-designed tax. It doesn't work to its original purpose. The big miners do not really pay much at all and I would like to see it gone."

Mr Wang is likely to take up the WA Senate spot after the West Australian Electoral Officer denied Greens senator Scott Ludlam a recount.

The Greens have appealed to Australian Electoral Commissioner Ed Killesteyn for a recount but a decision is yet to be made.

Independent senator Nick Xenophon said he would have a constructive relationship with Mr Abbott and indicated he was open to supporting both the carbon and mining tax repeals.

"I voted against the carbon tax when the government tried to put it in," Senator Xenophon said. "I think it's important that we replace it with something that's effective

"I supported the mining tax, but clearly the model that was in place didn't work. I want to make sure that any replacement encourages small and emerging miners because they provide growth in the industry, in terms of jobs growth."

Mr Abbott faces a more difficult task to introduce his direct action policy, with senators-elect Day and Leyonhjelm ruling out supporting the policy, and senators Madigan and Xenophon expressing significant reservations about the plan.

Mr Day said it was important Labor changed its position to support Mr Abbott's repeal of the carbon tax because the overwhelming evidence showed that taxing carbon dioxide was a futile endeavour.

"It is pointless taxing CO2 to try and reduce emissions, even if you wanted to reduce emissions. Taxing CO2 doesn't do that. Introducing an emission trading scheme doesn't do that," he said.

"The whole thing is just a futile exercise ... the IPCC's predictions have failed spectacularly."

Labor Senate leader Penny Wong said the opposition would be "unwavering" in its scrutiny of all of the Abbott government's policies.


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