Picking up the cost – the carbon tax on households
Chapter 7 provides an assessment of the impact that the carbon tax will
have on the cost living.
As detailed in Chapter 3, the government is proposing the introduction
of a fixed price carbon tax from 1 July 2012 before transitioning the economy
to an emissions trading scheme.
The government has already announced that the carbon tax will result in
increased costs for households and the government budget including:
a 10 per cent increase in electricity bills in the first year;
a 9 per cent increase in gas bills in the first year;
for the first time since the 1980s will see higher marginal tax rates
for low and middle income earners; and
a hit to the Budget bottom line of at least $4.3 billion in the first
few years alone.
Evidence provided to this committee suggests that the proposed carbon
tax will have a damaging effect on the community. The committee is of the view
that carbon tax will not lead to reductions in global emissions but will:
lead to job losses;
negatively impact the competitiveness of many Australian
cause uncertainty for investment.
The committee believes that such outcomes will make circumstances difficult
The impact of a carbon price on households
Under the government's design, announced on 10 July 2011, the proposed
carbon tax will be directly paid by 500 companies
through a requirement to purchase a permit for every tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2)
emissions they produce.
Indirectly, the carbon tax will be paid by all Australians as the tax will
change the price households pay for goods and services.
Professor John Freebairn, an economist who appeared before the
committee, takes the view that the cost of acting on climate change, through
the introduction of a price on carbon, will be passed on to consumers:
Although the statutory or initial incidence of a higher price
on carbon, either a tax or the market price of tradable permits, falls on the
about 1000 firms producing petroleum products and electricity, once the economy
adjusts most of the new indirect taxes and explicit charges for pollution are
passed on to households as higher prices.
On 10 July 2011, on announcing the details of the tax, the government claimed
that modelling had identified the expected impact on the consumer price index (CPI)
would be 0.7 per cent:
Some businesses will pass on the carbon price, leading to
modest rises in prices. In 2012-13, this is expected to increase the cost of
living by 0.7 per cent ... Many prices, particularly food, will hardly be
affected. On average food will go up by less than $1 per week for households.
The government has since released updated modelling of the impact of the
carbon tax on households. This updated modelling, released on 21 September 2011,
confirmed the earlier results which identified that the impact of a carbon tax
of $23 per tonne on aggregate consumer prices would be 0.7 per cent in 2012-13.
In the updated modelling, the government did, however, identify that the
transition to a floating carbon price in 2015-16 would result in a second
increase in aggregate consumer prices by a further 0.2 per cent.
Although the impact on households is considered to be critical, some
participants in the policy debate take the view that to be effective, a price
on carbon must be high enough to result in a change in behaviour.
The next section of the report highlights the impact on households:
utility bills, groceries, houses and cars. However, before turning to those
impacts, it is important to note a major difficulty with the government's
estimates of the extent of price increases.
Contrary to what appears to be the widely held view, those estimates are
not based on the Treasury modelling used to examine the impacts of the
carbon tax on the economy. Rather, they are based on an entirely different
model, the Price Revenue Incidence Simulation Model (PRISMOD). According
to the committee, there is no reason to believe those estimates bear any
relation to the estimates of the wider economic effects. Moreover, the PRISMOD
estimates take no account of the fact that in Treasury's wider modelling, real
wages are estimated to decline substantially so as to maintain full employment
consistent with the Treasury assumption imposed on its models. No compensation
is being provided for those real wage reductions, so even if the price impacts
as estimated by PRISMOD are offset for particular consumer groups, those groups
could still be significantly worse off.
This was not an issue in respect of the GST (where price estimates were
also obtained using PRISMOD). The GST was expected to increase real wages in
the long run, as it increased the efficiency of the tax system and, with it,
Australia's economy. In contrast, the carbon tax will reduce real wages, all
the more so if Australia's competitors do not impose a similar burden on their economies.
Consumers will therefore face a 'double whammy' - higher prices and
lower incomes, without this being taken into consideration in the compensation
they can obtain.
On announcing the carbon tax, the government stated:
Electricity prices are expected to rise with or without
carbon pricing. Carbon pricing is expected to add around 10 per cent to
electricity prices in 2012-13 and 9 per cent to gas prices.
The government's modelling, also released on 10 July 2011, indicated
that the introduction of a carbon tax would lead to only a modest increase in
electricity prices of $3.30 per week.
In its updated modelling, released on 21 September 2011, the government
confirmed that the aggregate increase in consumer prices of 0.7 per cent
included the 10 per cent increase in household electricity prices.
Graphic 7.1: Household electricity prices ($ 2010)
Regardless of what the effect on the consumer price index (CPI) is, any price
increases that result from the new tax will have a negative effect on the
purchasing power of households:
Introducing a price on carbon not only raises the relative
prices of carbon intensive products and processes to reduce pollution, it also
raises the average cost of living.
There is no doubt that prices will increase for consumers. In fact, industries
affected by the introduction of the proposed tax have informed the committee
that they will need to pass on the costs of the tax. The Energy Retailers
Association of Australia (ERAA)
stated in their submission that:
If a regime of regulated retail tariffs remains across the
board in Australia, energy retailers need full pass through of carbon costs
through adjusted regulated tariffs allowing sufficient head room to account for
the associated risks of uncertainty and wholesale market volatility. The retail
component constitutes only a fraction of the final price of energy, with
network costs and wholesale electricity costs together contributing
approximately 90%. As such, energy retailers face significant risks if a carbon
price is implemented without adequate pass through provisions, this risk is
further exacerbated due to the added wholesale volatility and uncertainty. It
is therefore imperative to maintain retail competition and reduce the risk of
retailer default that regulated retail tariffs are set with full pass through
of the costs of carbon and the associated added volatility from introducing a
The Australian Gas Light Company (AGL) suggests that the price of
electricity will rise under a carbon tax but that any price increase will be
higher in an environment of policy uncertainty:
Our analysis indicates that the increase in electricity
prices at the residential level is likely to be between 3% and 6% depending
upon the demand growth scenario used. These price increases are primarily a
“deadweight loss” to the economy associated with the introduction of a
sub-optimal capital stock designed to minimise capital costs in an environment
of carbon policy uncertainty. It is critical that policy makers note this
dilemma and move quickly towards establishing a carbon policy framework that is
accepted by all sides of politics. If this does not occur, these price
increases are likely to be experienced irrespective of whether a broad based
climate change policy is introduced or not.
However, it needs to be noted that any certainty the carbon tax provides
to the electricity industry is simply a risk transfer on to the economy and
consumers as a whole. There is, in other words, real uncertainty about the
future prospects for global abatement and; the Australian Government cannot
eliminate that uncertainty. As a result, any certainty it provides to one
industry about future carbon prices is just a transfer of the uncertainty on to
other industries and on to the community more widely.
In their submission to the committee, the New South Wales Treasury explained
that their modelling has shown that the most visible impact on households of a
carbon tax will be on electricity prices:
The most clearly visible impact of a carbon price is on
retail electricity prices.
Energy costs represent approximately forty percent of a
residential electricity bill.
While the Commonwealth Government estimated that the carbon tax would
raise retail electricity prices by 10 per cent, the NSW Government estimated
that the impact would be higher in New South Wales:
A 38% increase in wholesale electricity prices (Commonwealth
estimate for the period 2013-2017 cited in its modelling report) would be
expected to result in an increase of around 15% on final retail electricity
prices, inclusive of network costs. Further detailed modelling and/or further
analysis of the Commonwealth modelling reports (when they are released) would
be required to confirm this impact.
The NSW Government’s finding is not necessarily inconsistent with the
Treasury’s analysis. The carbon tax may have different impacts on electricity
prices in different States or locations. This indicates that while the
government may be correct in arguing that households will be 20 cents per week
better off on average, that will not necessarily be the case for any
particular household, as prices and consumption will vary depending on
location, household size and a house’s energy efficiency characteristics.
Previous modelling by the Commonwealth Treasury, for the proposed Carbon
Pollution Reduction Scheme, showed that electricity consumption in regional
areas was higher than those in capital cities. For example, households in
regional NSW spent 26 per cent more on electricity than those in Sydney,
households in regional Victoria spent 25 per cent more on electricity than
those in Melbourne, households in regional Queensland spent 10 per cent more on
electricity than those in Brisbane, households in regional Western Australia
spent 35 per cent more on electricity than those in Perth, households in
regional South Australia spent 14 per cent more on electricity than those in
Adelaide and households in regional Tasmania spent 43 per cent more on
electricity than those in Hobart.
Graphic 7.2: Spending on energy as a percentage of all
spending 2010 - 11
column Right-handside column
The Treasury has not published comparable figures in its modelling
report for the carbon tax, however, if these disparities in spending on
electricity between regional Australia and the capital cities were of the same
order, it would mean that households in regional Australia would be worse off
under the carbon tax on average. The government estimated that the price impact
of the carbon tax on electricity, gas and water charges would be $3.30 per
Even taking the Queensland difference between capital city and regional
spending (where the disparity is the lowest at
10 per cent), regional Queenslanders would be 33 cents per week worse off than persons
in Brisbane under the carbon tax. This would mean that the average 20 cents a
week better off that the government estimates, would not be enough to
compensate a person living in regional Queensland, on average.
Regional Australians will also likely be hurt the worst from the
eventual inclusion of transport fuel under the carbon tax regime. The cost of
groceries and other essentials will generally have a greater proportion of
transport costs embodied in their price in many regional areas. For regional
Australians, the greater the distance, the greater the cost.
Australian households are already struggling with constantly increasing
cost of living pressures. They should not be asked to absorb further increases
in costs for their daily household necessities just to pay for a carbon tax
which will make no difference to the environment.
Whilst the committee acknowledges that Treasury modelling claims that a
portion of households will be overcompensated, the Treasury has only allowed
for a 20 cent overcompensation buffer. This 20 cent buffer will disappear very
quickly once businesses start to pass on the cost of the carbon tax down the
supply chain – with households ultimately wearing the full financial cost of
the carbon tax. What seems certain is that households will be out of pocket
under the carbon tax.
Slugging first home buyers
In addition to rising electricity prices, building material
manufacturers have cited that they will be forced to raise the cost of building
materials as a result of the introduction of the proposed carbon tax.
Brickworks and CSR have warned of:
... serious cost pressures across the building sector after
the government elected not to offer free carbon permits to key building
materials businesses under the proposed carbon tax.
As a result of the proposed $23 per tonne carbon price, Brickworks have
said that they will be forced to raise prices by 6 per cent.
CSR has also confirmed that it would raise prices:
... across its non-trade exposed divisions, which includes
its brick, roof tile and plasterboard manufacturing divisions.
The Master Builders Association expects that the increased cost of building
materials will add at least an extra $5,000 to the price of a new home.
This does not include the costs of insulation which are also expected to
increase. As a trade exposed industry, insulation manufacturer CSR expects that
increased costs will be harder to pass on to consumers and the tax will hit
that part of their business hard.
Graphic 7.3: Impact of carbon tax on the price of a new
Although it is difficult to measure the impact on the housing market,
HomesAustralia suggests that:
The rule of thumb in the industry is that for every $1000 you
add on to the price of a home, you knock out 20 first-home buyers ... With
homes expected to cost $5000 more at least, that's 100 people right there who
can no longer afford to buy.
Master Builders Australia (MBA) has also criticised the proposed tax,
labelling it as a 'negative' for the building industry and a policy that will
hurt homebuyers and small business without any upside for the construction
In addition to those concerns, the MBA, in their submission to the
committee, detailed that the industry, which currently accounts for more than 9
per cent of employment in Australia,
will be negatively affected at all levels by the introduction of a carbon tax.
The MBA engaged the Centre for International Economics (CIE) to undertake a
rigorous analysis of the impact of a carbon tax on their industry. The CIE has
provided the MBA with the following preliminary findings:
costs: raising the absolute costs of materials (eg steel,
cement, glass) and other inputs (eg energy and labour) used in building and
production processes: changing the relative price shift in
research and development practices and technical possibilities; and
demand: by slower-than-otherwise economic and income growth
and potentially driving a change in consumer preference for different types of
Mr Wilhelm Harnisch, Chief Executive Officer of MBA, is concerned that the
design of the tax will not achieve the government's policy objective:
The need to address climate change is recognised but the
focus must not be on compensation but the policy fundamentals. ... The fundamental
issue for the building and construction industry is the integrity of a carbon
tax policy framework which has been driven more by the circumstances of a
minority government rather than good public policy principles of efficiency,
equity and simplicity.
The MBA take the view that the proposed carbon tax will have a cascading
effect, adding costs at each point in the supply chain and therefore adding costs
pressures to home buyers, small businesses and renters.
They suggest that the government consider compensating first home buyers for
the expected costs of a carbon price as a result of not only the carbon price
but the concurrent requirement to build houses to a 'six star' energy rating.
The MBA cited research which suggests that without compensation housing
affordability in Australia will continue to worsen:
Economic research has estimated the national housing
affordability ratio (the median house price divided by median income) at 7.3 in
March 2011 (that is, the median house price was 7.3 times median income in that
period), well ahead of the ratio of 4.7 recorded a decade earlier.
A housing affordability ratio below 5.0 is regarded by Natsem
as "affordable" while a ratio between 6.0 and 7.0 is seen to be
"not affordable" and a ratio above 7.0 is considered "severely
According to Treasury, the government's modelled 0.7 per cent increase
in the CPI is expected to translate into an 80 cent per week increase in food prices
This increase accounts for around 0.5 per cent of the 0.7 per cent consumer
price impact that introduction of the tax will have on households.
The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC), however, doubt the
accuracy of the government's modelling. They take the view that the cost of
groceries for families will increase under a carbon tax and question the modest
increase that the government has modelled:
AFGC Chief Executive Kate Carnell said there's no doubt that
costs will increase right across Australia's supply chain, predominantly due to
the increased costs of power... AFGC is perplexed by Treasury figures announced
today by the Prime Minister, regarding the price rises of food and grocery
products on supermarket shelves. The Treasury modelling appears not [to] have
been released – we urge them to release these figures.
The National Association of Retail Grocers of Australia (NARGA) has also
questioned the accuracy of the government's modelling of the impact of a carbon
tax on grocery prices:
It is unlikely that the complex nature of the grocery supply
chain has been modelled effectively to determine the impact on grocery prices
of the carbon (dioxide) tax and associated changes to the fuel excise system.
In their submission to the committee NARGA stated that supermarkets
would either decrease their staffing levels or increase their grocery prices to
recoup the additional operating costs incurred as a result of the imposition of
a carbon tax:
The first year's price increase will cost the average
supermarket an average of $15,000 which would need to be recouped through
higher retail prices or reduced staffing levels.
The government has acknowledged the negative effects that the
introduction of a carbon tax will have on everyday consumers, announcing that
compensation would be paid to households to offset the impact of the tax's
More expensive cars
While its exclusion will ensure that households and small businesses do
not pay the tax on the fuel used in their cars,
the cost of cars is expected to rise.
Government modelling suggests that by 2050 not only will emissions per
kilometre travelled nearly be half the level they are today, but the reliance
on conventional fuels will also have substantially declined.
Graphic 7.4.: Forecast vehicle emissions (to 2050) per
In hearings the committee heard evidence from the Federal Chamber of
Automotive Industries and the Federation of Automotive Products Manufacturers,
who noted that their industries will be severely impacted by the changes. They
cited research conducted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers into the potential impact of
a carbon price on the automotive industry:
The cost to the domestic automotive industry is likely to be
in the order of $30 million to $84 million per year depending on various
factors including compensation.
The increase in manufacturing costs as a result of the carbon tax will
flow through to consumers so, although household fuel consumption will be not
be subject to the carbon tax, the incidence of a carbon tax will translate into
higher vehicle prices. Research conducted suggests that without compensation,
new vehicles could increase by between $222 and $412.
Australian Households under a carbon tax
The introduction of the carbon tax is going to hurt families. The
government's compensation package for households is insufficient. It will not
cover the cumulative increase in the costs of a basket of goods – when pressed
on this point, Treasury revealed that they have not publicly released the
basket of goods used in their analysis of the price impact on consumers of the
proposed carbon tax:
CHAIR: Has Treasury been asked by industry
associations or others for details on the basket of goods that is used to
calculate the cost-of-living impact?
Mr Robinson: Yes, we have had inquiries from industry
associations on the composition of price changes by different commodity
CHAIR: Did you provide that information?
Mr Robinson: At this stage we have been talking to
government about the release of such information.
CHAIR: So the answer is that so far you have not released
Mr Robinson: Not at this stage, Senator.
On further questioning as to the basket of goods used in modelling the
impact of a carbon tax on consumers, Treasury explained that they relied on
information used in the 2003–04 household expenditure survey?
Mr Robinson: The modelling that we have undertaken
uses PRISMOD, which was the same model that was used to undertake analysis of
the impact of the introduction of the GST back in 2000. The distributional
component of that PRISMOD modelling has underlying it the household expenditure
CHAIR: Is that the 2003-04 household expenditure
Mr Robinson: That is correct. That information from
the 2003-04 household expenditure survey has been comprehensively updated to
reflect our best estimates of what the world would look like in 2012-13. So,
for example, it takes account of historical price changes for different
commodity classes—say, for example, historical electricity price changes. Then
we have also incorporated future projections of price growth out to 2012-13.
The modelling then goes through the process of looking at what the impact of
the price changes will be on specific groups of commodities underlying the CPI.
That is what leads us to an estimate of the overall impact of the CPI, built up
from underlying commodity group estimates.
CHAIR: So, if it is based on the 2003-04 household
expenditure survey, what is the sensitivity? Why is there an issue with
providing that information to industry associations and others, for that matter,
so that it can be properly scrutinised?
Mr Robinson: The government has published in the
reports the headline increases. The majority of the price impacts are actually
driven by changes in electricity prices. So the key drivers of impacts for
households are actually electricity prices, which are estimated to go up by
about 10 per cent, and gas prices, going up by about nine per cent. The
majority of the other goods and services that households typically consume—food
was one of the examples given—would typically rise by less than half of one per
Treasury have not explained the sensitivity associated with releasing
the information concerning the basket of goods used to model the impacts of the
carbon tax on households and although the Household Expenditure Survey examines
average expenditure on health services, the general nature of the government's
modelling on the estimated impact on health costs suggests that the basket of
goods used to model the impact of the carbon price should be released:
Treasury estimate that households will face a price impact on
health services of around 0.3 per cent in 2012-13 under a $23 carbon price.
Health services include hospital and medical services, optical and dental
services, and pharmaceuticals. Estimating the impact on household goods and
services has been undertaken across broad product categories and the estimates
represent the average price impacts across each category. Within each category
there will be a range of goods with different levels of direct and indirect
emissions intensity. Some items may have higher price impacts than the average
while other items may be lower.
The reticence on the part of government to release this information
raises further questions around the veracity of their modelling.
Indeed, when questioned as to the accuracy details of the numbers of
families and households in each income bracket that will be impacted by the
carbon tax, Treasury was unable to provide specific detail:
The individual characteristics of households and families are
detailed and varied. The survey data underlying the models used to develop
distributional estimates contains a comprehensive cross-section of different
household types and income levels, which underpins the estimates that nine out
of ten households will receive assistance, almost six million households will
receive assistance that covers all of their average expected price impact and
over four million households will receive assistance that is at least 20 per
cent more than their average expected price impact. However, it is not possible
to accurately estimate the number of households represented at each income
point for each household cameo included in the Supporting Australian households
publication. Recognising this, the publication seeks to provide information
about the elements of the household assistance package most applicable to a
selection of different household types at different income levels, as well as
distributional information about the broader Clean Energy Future policy.
In announcing the compensation package for households the government has
boasted that many Australian families will be better off as a result of the
changes to the marginal tax rates. However, as Treasury acknowledge, it is not
possible to identify accurately the number of households in each income bracket
as income brackets do not reflect effective marginal tax rates. Furthermore,
Treasury have acknowledged that effective marginal tax rates will be impacted
by the changes contained in the government's legislative package.
CHAIR: The Prime Minister and the Treasurer have made
much of the lower effective marginal tax rate in the $16,000 to $20,000 range.
Can you just confirm that effective marginal tax rates are higher for incomes
Mr Robinson: There are a few changes in effective
marginal tax rates through those income ranges. As a result of a very large
increase in the tax-free threshold there have been some adjustments to the
marginal rates such that the 15 per cent rate increases to 19 per cent, which
has increased the effective marginal tax rate between $20,542 and $30,000.
[emphasis added] Beyond that point, the old effective marginal tax rate of 15
per cent plus the four per cent withdrawal of the low-income tax offset means
that there has been no change to the effective tax rate between $30,000 and
CHAIR: So it increases between $20,500 and—
Mr Robinson: And $30,000.
CHAIR: And you have just confirmed that people earning
incomes between $20,500 and $30,000 will pay a higher effective marginal tax
rate. Then everybody earning more than $37,000 will also pay a higher effective
marginal tax rate, won't they?
Mr Robinson: That is not correct. The effective
marginal tax rate beyond $30,000 up to about $66,600 is still the same. That is
basically through rebalancing. Under that current tax scales, if you like,
there is a 30 per cent marginal rate which kicks in from $37,000. There is also
the four per cent withdrawal of the low-income tax offset on that.
Mr Robinson: So the effective rate is 34 per cent.
Effectively, what the government has done is to reduce the withdrawal of the
low-income tax offset to 1½ per cent and to put an extra 2½ per cent into the
statutory marginal rate. So the 32½ plus 1½ still adds up to 34, leaving the
effective rate unchanged between—
CHAIR: At what income level does the effective
marginal tax rate increase again compared to the status quo?
Mr Robinson: Between $67,500 and $80,000 the
effective rate will have increased by 2½ per cent. [emphasis added]
CHAIR: What is going to be the increase in the
effective marginal tax rate for people on incomes between $20,500 and $30,000,
in percentage terms?
Mr Robinson: Four per cent.
CHAIR: Four per cent.
Mr Heferen: Bear in mind that the average tax rate for
those people still goes down.
CHAIR: Sure. But I do not have time to go through
that; I will focus on what I want to ask questions about. Clearly, on page 10,
in your tax reform discussion paper you found it important enough to focus on
effective marginal tax rates and to present that information in chart 2. People
earning between $20,500 and $30,000 will now have a four per cent higher
effective marginal tax rate and people earning between $67,500 and $80,000 will
have a 2½ per cent higher effective marginal tax rate. What modelling have you
done on account of participation effects of these lower and higher effective
marginal tax rates?
Mr Heferen: We have done no modelling. Clearly, a 2½
point effective marginal tax rate, which is further obscured by the fact of
that low-income tax offset itself—part of that comes in a person's pay and part
of it has to be done on assessment. So you would have to be very careful about
the judgment of a person where they take on an extra amount of work, with that
fine level of distinction and at that level of income.
There is. However, some question about the extent to which the number of
households impacted by an increased effective marginal tax rate has been
modelled as, although information has been released that there are approximately
450,000 people who earn between $16,000 and $20,500 and who will therefore
receive a tax cut, Treasury have been unable to provide advice as to the number
of people who earn between $67,500 and $80,000 and who therefore, will face an
effective marginal tax rate 2.5 per cent higher than is currently the case.
Reaction to the compensation package
The Australian Council of Social Service raised concerns about the
government's compensation package. In particular, with the way in which
compensation levels have been determined, citing a concern that the method used
entrenches existing inequities in the social welfare system:
... we are disappointed that compensation levels have been
determined based on household income and not expenditure. This means that
existing inequities in Australia's income support system will continue through
the carbon price mechanism as those on lower allowances receive the lowest
levels of compensation.
For example someone on Aged Pension, Carers of Disability
Support Pension will receive an increase of $338 per year compared to $218 for
someone on the unemployment Newstart Allowance. This is unfair and brings a
level of inequity into the compensation aspects of the scheme.
It should also be noted that allowance recipients are not eligible
for the Utilities Allowance of $10 per week, which adds to the inequity in the
face of surging electricity and gas prices.
The evidence the committee has received clearly shows that the
introduction of a carbon tax will increase prices across all consumer goods,
including electricity, gas and groceries, and lead to increased prices in other
goods and services across the economy.
The committee is of the view that the Treasury modelling has
underestimated the impact of the carbon tax on the cost of living. The committee's
views about the flaws in the Treasury modelling are discussed in more detail in
The committee is concerned about the impact that higher costs,
particularly higher prices for food and energy, will have for low and middle
income families and draws attention to the fact that, although households can
be compensated for any initial price increases, due to the second round effects,
the cost to these families of the introduction of a carbon tax can never be
accurately calculated or compensated.
The committee finds that households in regional Australia are likely to
be worse off under a carbon tax. For regional Australians, the greater the
distance, the greater the cost. Treasury figures reveal that regional
Australians pay anywhere from 10 per cent to 43 per cent more for electricity
than those in capital cities. This disparity alone would wipe out the estimated
20 cents per week that Treasury estimates the average Australian would be
better off. In addition, regional Australians will be hit again once the
eventual inclusion of transport fuel is added to the cost of groceries and
other essential items.
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