Carbon tax repeal: Clive Palmer confirms PUP support as bills to scrap tax pass Lower House
By political correspondent Emma Griffiths
Clive Palmer has supported the Government in its renewed bid to repeal the carbon tax after a key amendment was "reworked" and legislation reintroduced to Parliament.
Last week the Palmer United Party (PUP) skewered the Coalition's attempts to scrap the tax, claiming the Coalition had "double-crossed" them over a condition that power savings be passed on to consumers.
But Mr Palmer says the legislation and the amendment is now satisfactory, voting with the Government when the bills passed the Lower House on Monday evening after abstaining in previous votes.
"Palmer United supports the bill and the amendment that will be brought forward," he told Parliament before the vote.
Environment Minister Greg Hunt spent the weekend refining the amendment and Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Question Time there had been widespread consultation over the legislation in the past few days.
"The matter has been reworked over the weekend and I am confident that we have got the balance right," Mr Abbott said.
Mr Hunt reintroduced the legislation for the third time to the House of Representatives on Monday. Previously Mr Abbott had led the Government's argument in the debate.
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Mr Hunt said he was confident businesses would do the right thing and pass on all the savings.
"The changes to the main repeal bill balance new compliance obligations with the need to ensure that households and business customers benefit - already strong protections are being further strengthened," he told Parliament.
Mr Palmer also told Parliament that PUP senators would move later this week to set up the framework of an emissions trading scheme, that would come into effect only when Australia's major trading partners put an ETS in place.
"Our senators plan to move in the Senate an ETS dependent upon our trading partners also acting in that regard," he said.
"We must stand on the right side of history."
Labor leader Bill Shorten has pointed out it is seven years - almost to the day - since former Liberal prime minister John Howard announced his plans to introduce an emissions trading scheme.
"But this Liberal Party, this once great party of the free market and free enterprise, wants no part of this market solution," he said.
"They want to tear everything down that has been built. They want to replace it with an amateur, ill-conceived, centralist, Soviet-style voucher system that will give the nation's biggest polluters great wads of taxpayer money to keep polluting."