Kevin Rudd.
Kevin Rudd. Blainey Woodham

Budget cuts to help fund carbon tax changes

MORE than $3.8 billion in budget cuts will help fund Kevin Rudd's changes to the carbon tax - and put an extra $380 a year in the pockets of Australian consumers, the Prime Minister said on Tuesday.

Mr Rudd on Sunday announced the government would bring forward the start date of an emissions trading scheme to July 1 next year.

The decision has forced cuts of $3.8 billion across the federal budget, with 800 senior public servants and $1.8 billion in fringe benefits tax concessions to go.

Cuts will also be felt across a range of environmental and industry subsidy programs, with the scrapping of the Energy Security Fund to save $770 million and more than $200 million in cuts to the Biodiversity Fund.

But, in what Mr Rudd called the "termination' of the carbon tax, consumers around the country would still be better off - with $380 of "household assistance" to remain.

Mr Rudd said on Tuesday the extra money would help with the cost of living for everyday Australians, while businesses would also benefit with extra funds as a result of the policy change.

He said the impact would be greatest on power bills, with about $3 a week in savings for families and $1.10 a week in savings on gas bills.

But Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, who remains committed to scrapping the carbon tax for a "direct action policy" said Mr Rudd had "merely altered" Julia Gillard's plans.

He said only the Coalition would scrap the carbon tax "lock stock and barrel".

However, Mr Rudd said while Australians would benefit from $380 extra in their bank accounts, Treasury modelling showed Mr Abbott's plans could add $1200 in costs for householders per year.


Cuts to fund early ETS start date:

  • $1.8b cuts to car fringe benefits tax concessions
  • $770m to end the Energy Security Fund
  • $186m in adjustments to Coal Sector Jobs package
  • $224m deferred from Carbon Capture and Storage
  • $213m cut from Biodiversity Fund
  • $143m cuts from Carbon Farming Futures
  • $362m "re-phased" from the Clean Technology Fund
  • 800 senior public service jobs to go