Australia will soon be transitioning to a flexible, internationally integrated emissions trading scheme. The 2013‑14 Budget seeks to manage this transition while continuing to support households, industry, jobs and communities.
Industry assistance was designed to move in line with changes in the carbon price. This assistance will automatically adjust to reflect the lower projected carbon price in 2015‑16. This includes permit-based assistance under the Jobs and Competitiveness Program and the Energy Security Fund.
The Government is committed to assisting households with the impact of carbon pricing. The Government is already delivering household assistance through tax cuts and increases in payments to assist low and middle income households with the effects of carbon pricing.
From 1 July 2012, all taxpayers with income up to $80,000 received an
income tax cut, with most receiving at least $300 a year, and up to 1 million people no longer needing to lodge a tax return. Overall, nine out of ten households will receive assistance through a combination of tax cuts and increased payments. Importantly, this assistance will remain in place.
The second round of tax cuts were designed to assist households with an increase in the carbon price from $25.40 in 2014‑15 to $29 in 2015‑16. As the carbon price is projected to be around $12, households will not experience the additional price impact originally anticipated in 2015‑16.
The second round of tax cuts will be deferred until the carbon price is estimated to be above $25.40. This is currently projected to occur in 2018‑19.
Clean Energy Future Programs
The Government has also made targeted changes to some Clean Energy Future Programs.
With the lower projected carbon price, funding for some programs, such as the National Low‑Emissions Coal Initiative and the Carbon Capture and Storage Flagships program has been reduced.
The Clean Technology Programs, the Biodiversity Fund and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency will all have funding adjusted and extended over a longer program life.
From 1 July 2013, the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation is poised to begin investing in the commercialisation and deployment of renewable energy, low‑emissions technologies and energy efficiency.