Libs target Labor seats in carbon campaign

POSTED June 26, 2012

The federal opposition has sent small businesses in Labor-held marginal seats posters apologising to customers for the rise in costs under the carbon tax.

THE posters have been sent to 7000 bakers, bottleshops, butchers, dry cleaners and fruit shops as the coalition ramps up its anti-carbon tax campaign ahead of its start on July 1.

One of the posters reads: "We always strive to keep our prices at reasonable levels but because the carbon tax will make electricity and gas more expensive, our prices will increase."

"We apologise for these price increases," it says.

Opposition small business spokesman Bruce Billson said there had been no analysis of how the carbon tax would affect small business.

"On top of this the government has failed to properly inform consumers about flow through price consequences because of the carbon tax," Mr Billson said.

"Small businesses running ovens, fridges, equipment and air conditioning units will all experience cost increases under the carbon tax. Supplier costs to businesses will also increase."

The coalition has vowed to scrap the carbon tax if elected.

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said the campaign was "alarmist".

"Small businesses don't have direct liability, they don't have to fill out any new forms," Mr Combet told ABC television on Tuesday.

"Electricity prices will be affected but for example, for a typical small business, electricity is about two per cent of their bill ... (or) about $5 a week."

He said any price increase passed through to consumers would be offset by compensation through tax cuts, pension rises and family tax benefit improvements.

Liberal candidates and MPs will follow up the campaign with local mailouts and doorknocking in coming weeks.

Paul Osbourne (Herald Sun, 26 June 2012)