JULIA Gillard believes voters will begin to view her carbon tax more favourably within “months” despite entrenched voter hostility to the measure.
The Prime Minister today advised small business people to pass on their increased electricity costs to consumers but maintained households would only experience a 1 per cent hike in their cost of living.
Tony Abbott, who has warned the price of “everything” will rise, said prices would fall once again when he axed the carbon tax.
On day two of Labor’s carbon tax, new state-by-state analysis of Newspoll reveals Labor’s primary vote has sunk to just 22 per cent in Queensland and 29 per cent in NSW.
But Ms Gillard, who says the impact of the carbon tax will fall short of the opposition’s claims, will soon begin to change their minds about the tax.
“I think we will see people in the months to come working out what carbon pricing is meaning for them and working out what it is meaning for the nation,” she told the ABC.
Many in Labor believe this is overly-optimistic, saying voters are so hardened in their views it will be almost impossible to turn public opinion around.
Today’s AC Nielsen Poll suggests just 33 per cent of voters support the carbon price, while 62 per cent are opposed to the measure.
In one of a raft of morning interviews, Ms Gillard was tackled by the owner of a small engineering firm who said he was facing 12 per cent jump in his electricity costs.
Ms Gillard said he was entitled to pass on increased costs to consumers, but maintained the impact of her carbon tax on retail prices would be minimal.
“You would be in a position to pass that on to the people who buy the services from your business and we have expected that those costs would be passed on and it feeds into that less than a cent in the dollar increase in prices that I talked about,” she said.
The Opposition leader today reiterated his pledge to axe the carbon tax if elected, declaring prices would fall when he did so.
He said the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission – which is policing carbon tax price rises – would ensure prices went down when the tax was removed.
“Certainly if an important component of a price is the carbon tax and the carbon tax goes, you’ve got much less pressure on that price,” he told ABC radio.
“The ACCC will have the same job to look carefully at price increases and make sure that companies and businesses are playing fair with the public.”