Government stands firm on carbon tax for trucking

Federal Government shows no signs of dropping its plan to extend the carbon tax to the trucking industry next year

Government stands firm on carbon tax for trucking
Government stands firm on carbon tax for trucking
By Brad Gardner | April 12, 2013

The Federal Government is showing no signs of dropping its plan to extend the carbon tax to the trucking industry next year.

Despite the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) urging the Government to spare transport operators, the office of Climate Change Minister Greg Combet (pictured) has confirmed the two-year exemption offered to industry will stand.

Under the Government’s plan, the carbon tax will apply to fuel used by the trucking industry on July 1, 2014, adding an extra 6.85 cents per litre to the excise.

"The Government introduced a carbon price from July 1, 2012 but has provided a two year transitional period before an effective carbon price applies to fuel used by trucks over 4.5 tonnes," a spokesperson for Combet says.

"This transitional period will allow trucking operators – particularly the smaller owner-drivers – to reconfigure their fleets and re-negotiate contracts with customers."

ATA Chairman David Simon last week asked the Government to go to the election vowing not to extend the tax to trucking. He believes many operators will be forced to wear the cost of increased fuel prices because customers will not pay higher rates.

While he warned the tax "would be a massive shock" for transport operators, it is not an assessment the Federal Government shares.

"Once fully implemented on July 1, 2014, the effective carbon price will have only a marginal impact on fuel bills, less than the regular fluctuations in global oil prices, which in recent years has ranged from as low as $US40 a barrel to as high as $US130 a barrel," Combet’s spokesperson says.

"Trucks fuelled by CNG, LNG, LPG or biofuels will not pay the effective carbon price."

The spokesperson says the Government is assisting small businesses by increasing the instant asset write-off to $6,500 and providing an immediate income tax deduction for the cost of depreciating assets.

"There is no limit to the number of items that can be written off in a financial year," the spokesperson says.

New legislation will need to pass Federal Parliament for the tax to extend to the trucking industry. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has promised to rescind the carbon tax if he wins office.

In its recently released strategic plan, the ATA has listed its campaign against the carbon tax as a priority for 2013.

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