PM Tony Abbott says the federal government won’t rest until the carbon tax is scrapped and has turned his attack on Labor at the LNP state conference.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott says his government is still committed to scrapping the carbon tax.
A proposal to repeal the tax was blocked in the Senate on Thursday after Palmer United Party senators voted against the government plan.
Mr Abbott used a speech to party faithful at the LNP state conference in Brisbane on Saturday to say Thursday’s vote wouldn’t be a deterrent to his plans to scrap the tax.
“If we have a problem one day in the parliament, we will work, we will regroup, we will deal with it the next day,” he said.
“If we have a problem, we don’t despair, we deal with it.
“We won’t rest until the carbon tax is gone. It’s adding nine per cent to your power bills. It’s a nine billion dollar handbrake on our economy … it must go.”
Mr Abbott refused to criticise PUP leader Clive Palmer’s involvement in last week’s Senate vote, instead switching the focus to Labor’s reluctance to rid Australia of the tax.
“We know that Mr Palmer will change his mind by Monday, but [opposition leader] Bill Shorten will still be there come Monday, come Tuesday, come next week, come next month, come next year, supporting putting your power prices up,” he said.
“Smiling every time your power bill increases.”
Mr Abbott also defended the government’s budget.
As a small but vocal group of protesters railed outside the conference centre against proposals such as the GP co-payment, university deregulation and social welfare reform, Mr Abbott said such measures must be undertaken.
“We have to make the tough decisions today to make tomorrow better,” he said.
“I say to the critics, `what is your alternative?’ Because if you have no ideas of your own, stop wrecking, and let those who have the ideas get on with the job of building a better Australia.”