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Carbon Tax Losers & Winners

Now that the carbon tax details have been released, the public and businesses are now dealing with more concrete facts rather than hearsay, political hogwash and everybody yelling at each other.

The details regarding the carbon tax and the impact it will cause are still somewhat blurred . Below is an overview of the expected losers and winners…


1. Retailers

While lower-income consumers may be better off under the carbon price retailers aren't jumping for joy. The Australian Retailers Association has released a statement claiming Labor's carbon pricing plan spells disaster for the retail sector.
"Retailers are at the very end of the manufacturing and supply chain and cost increases along the line will ultimately be caught by them".
"The government's planned carbon tax fails to offer retailers any compensation for being the catchment point for price rises, leaving them no choice but to pass these costs onto customers."

2. Research and development

Given that Australia's cut in emissions has just been hoisted from 60% to 80% by 2050 it's perhaps surprising that just $3.2 billion has been set aside for research and development of new clean energy technologies.
While the US seeks to lead the way with the production of electric cars and China becomes the home of solar panel manufacturing, Australian innovators will have relatively little funding to fight back in the emerging green economy.

3. Exporters

With the Australian dollar at historic highs against its US counterpart, exporters haven't had it easy in recent months.
The mining industry, which ironically fuelled the strength of the dollar with its boom, is worried.
"We are deeply concerned the proposed carbon tax fails to shield Australia's export sector and leaves it at a disadvantage compared to international competitors," Rio Tinto managing director David Peever says.

4. Electricity-intensive companies

It goes without saying that if you're a business that uses a lot of electricity you aren't looked upon favourably by a mechanism that seeks to lower emissions by 160 million tonnes a year.
Sectors such as the IT industry, which uses a lot of power, are likely to be among those that have to pass on increased costs to consumers.

5. Manufacturers

The carbon price will do little to help what remains of Australia's manufacturing base, with the Australian Industry Group warning that the sector will lose jobs. But the government will hand a $1.2 billion "clean technology" package to manufacturers.




1. Energy efficient businesses

Do you take energy efficiency seriously in your business? If yes, you are set to do better than your competitors when electricity prices rise, by a predicted $3.30 a week.

If you haven't embraced energy efficiency, the carbon price plan gives you a helpful shove towards doing so. $40 million has been set aside in grants to aid small businesses and community groups become less wasteful in their energy consumption.

2. Renewable start-ups

Despite being blessed with the natural resources to launch thousands of profitable green-tinged businesses Australia has fallen behind mainly due to an unfavourable investment environment.

The $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation will go a long way to remedying that, providing a much-needed leg-up to start-ups with great renewable ideas but unwilling investors.
The success or failure of the fund will go a long way to determining whether Australia will derive 20% of its energy via renewables by 2020.

3. Heavy car users

Following a handy boost at the last Budget start-ups that rely heavily upon their cars have been given further help, with small business fuel use exempt from the carbon tax.
The exemption was widely predicted, but the confirmed inclusion will be a relief to companies that clock up the kilometres on the road.

4. Investors in equipment

The instant asset tax write-off for businesses with turnover less than $2 million is to be increased from $5000 from $6500.
This means that assets bought after July 1 next year will receive a larger deduction, aiding start-ups that want to invest in equipment at this time.
The government says for example, a café owner who purchases a freezer for $6000 could claim the entire $6000 due to the increase in the asset write-off limit.

5. Low income groups

Low income Australians are undoubtedly the clear winners in the plans revealed on Sunday, with around four million households set to be better off as a result of the scheme.
There will be a tripling of the tax-free threshold from $6000 to $18,200 from July next year. That will move to $19,400 in 2015. Those earning under $80,000 will fare best, with pensions set to rise by 1.7%.
Businesses will hope this will spur an uplift in consumer spending among a persistently cautious lower-income Australian public.



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