[Australian Prime Minister] Julia Gillard faces growing backbench unrest over the carbon tax with sceptics quietly planning to push for changes to the incoming tax – or the leadership.
Labor MPs have voiced concerns about the level of the July 1 fixed carbon price — $23 a tonne — and the timetable to transition to an emissions trading scheme in 2015.
A new caucus sub-committee, created to cool MPs’ anger over the government’s foreign-worker deal with mining magnate Gina Rinehart, is set to be a forum for sceptics to push for change, several Labor MPs suggested.
“I just hate the carbon tax. Never wanted it,” one Labor MP told The Sunday Telegraph.
‘We might have a few like-minded sceptics coming out. If I had my way we wouldn’t be having a carbon tax but that’s not possible.”
Former Labor leader Kevin Rudd raised the idea of reviewing the carbon tax during the recent Labor leadership contest, with a view to possibly beginning the market-based ETS sooner than 2015.
But Labor frontbenchers maintain this would have huge budget implications and might not be a sustainable option.