TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

In Australia, hatred of carbon tax drives voters to opposition

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, 6:51 p.m.
 

SYDNEY — The ruling Labor Party's expected collapse in Australia's vote on Saturday is largely the consequence of its qualified success in the last election three years ago. To form the coalition, then-Prime Minister Julia Gillard agreed to place a carbon tax on major polluters.

Voters have never stopped hating the tax and its effect on their electric bills. Longtime Labor Party supporters — even people who have helped cut pollution by installing solar panels at home — have flocked to the opposition.

“Whoever gets rid of it will get my vote,” said Mark Keene, a 54-year-old maintenance worker from Sydney who, for the first time in his life, won't be voting for Labor.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott has declared the election a “referendum on the carbon tax” — a sure sign of confidence that most voters remain staunchly against it, with many believing that companies forced to pay the tax are simply passing the cost onto consumers.

Its unpopularity has already produced the downfall of Gillard, who lost her job to Kevin Rudd in a June vote of party lawmakers desperate to avoid a crushing election loss that could send them into the political wilderness for a decade. But Labor candidates for Parliament trail badly in opinion polls.

The tax on big polluters such as power plants and factories has been in place since July 2012. It started at $21 per metric ton of carbon dioxide produced and has risen more than a dollar per metric ton.

The government estimated the tax would cost the average person less than $9 per week, but it ended up costing more than twice that much.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Protesters in Hong Kong stand firm in battle to stop encroaching rule by China
  2. Netanyahu rebuts claim of genocide, accuses Iran
  3. Unrest, fatalities challenge shaky cease-fire in Ukraine
  4. Coalition airstrikes fail to slow ISIS attacks on key cities
  5. Belgium accuses Muslim group of radicalizing, training youth to fight in Syria
  6. China faces tricky balance in Hong Kong’s protests
  7. Search for victims on hold in Japan as volcano spews toxic fumes
  8. Ukraine braces for frigid winter amid uncertainty about natural gas supply from Russia
  9. Mystery over North Korean leader fuels health rumors
  10. Ex-Vatican official on trial in sex abuse
  11. Courting Vietnam, U.S. prepares to ease arms embargo
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.