Government attacks Labor’s climate change policy

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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who once argued for an emissions trading scheme (ETS), has labelled Labor’s climate change plan as a ‘handbrake’ on the economy.

Labor leader Bill Shorten announced his party’s climate change policy yesterday, saying plan for an orderly transition to an ETS would be applied differently to different industries, and allow Australian companies to become part of a global system of carbon offsets.

Bill Shorten has unveiled a climate change policy that almost doubles Australia’s targets to cut carbon pollution. While the Government has committed to cutting emissions by up to 28 per cent by 2030, a Labor government would go for a 45 per cent cut.

Labor’s environment spokesman Mark Butler says it’s a comprehensive plan, carefully developed by consulting industry and environment groups. However, the Prime Minister was immediately critical, saying Labor’s plan will drive up power prices.

“In order to deliver a near doubling of our emissions target, they will have to very significantly increase the cost of energy, the cost of electricity and all other power. So that is going to be another brake on the economy,” Malcolm Turnbull told ABC PM.

The Treasurer, Scott Morrison, called it an electricity tax.

“What did they not get about the last election when the country said no to a carbon tax? And now they want to bring it back, rebirth it in some other form,” he said.

“I mean, it only puts up electricity prices, that’s fairly clear, and they can spin it any way they want, and what it means is they want to tax electricity.”

“If you start putting up power prices, of course the price of everything is going to be affected,” Barnaby Joyce.

“Is this what you want? Is this the policy of the Labor, the Greens and the independents? Let’s make people poorer.”