Business calls on the Senate for swift repeal of carbon tax

FACING a likely delay in the repeal of the carbon tax until at least July, major business groups and the mining industry have called for the Senate to undo the previous government's policy.

The message to Senators came in the form of a joint statement from the Australian Industry Group, Business Council, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Minerals Council.

Chiefs of each major business lobby urged the Senate to "swiftly repeal the carbon tax", just days after the Senate voted down the first repeal bill, preventing the abolition of the Climate Change Authority until mid-year.

But despite government claims the cost of the tax was hurting consumers, the statement said "most businesses have been unable to pass their carbon tax-related costs on to customers".

"For small business especially, this has been a major burden that has reduced profitability, suppressed employment and added to already difficult conditions," the statements reads.

The major lobby groups also echoed Prime Minister Tony Abbott's reiteration of former Labor leader Kevin Rudd's comments that the Opposition would "terminate" the tax during last year's election campaign.

That pledge was deserted following Labor's election defeat and the successful rise of Bill Shorten to the party's leadership.

While the repeal bills will not pass the current Senate, with Labor and The Greens blocking passage, it is likely to pass once the new Senate begins in July, with a host of expected conservative Senators to back the government's pledge.

But the lobby groups said delaying the repeal "would not achieve anything for the environment", despite falls in Australia's emissions since the legislative package was passed.


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