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The Hon Peter Garrett MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

Tony Abbott should have the integrity to walk away from his $1100 false Climate Change claim

Media release
8 January 2010

The new Opposition Leader should have the decency and integrity to admit he got it wrong with his false and misleading $1100 climate change claim.

Until Mr Abbott walks away from this grossly exaggerated and misleading claim it is impossible to trust what he says on climate change.

Asked several times on Sky News today to admit he had used misleading and false climate change figures the new Opposition Leader refused to do so.

Sticking with figures that he knows are inaccurate and misleading proves how untrustworthy Mr Abbott is when it comes to climate change.

Mr Abbott today decided to continue misleading the Australian people instead of simply admitting he got it wrong and walking away from the $1100 false claim:

GILLON: You've been saying that emissions trading scheme will cost the average family $1,100 a year. Are you upset that that claim was wrong and perhaps misinformed?

ABBOTT: No, it was based on reports based on Government figuring and I've been saying this for months, and it's only in the last week or so that the Government has come out and questioned it. A figure has been in the public arena for months and it's never been denied-

GILLON: -But the Government was rebutting it before Christmas. Do you accept that that figure's wrong now?

ABBOTT: No, no, I don't accept that it's wrong.

Mr Abbott's attempt to cite a 2007 report into the Howard Government's ETS (which included agriculture and petrol) to describe the cost to an average family of the Rudd Government's CPRS would be amusing if it wasn't so misleading and untruthful.

The reality is that credible economic analysis on the impact of the CPRS is contained in detailed modelling undertaken by the Treasury - the biggest economic modelling exercise in Australian history.

The impact on households is based on this modelling, and has been updated to reflect changes in the expected carbon price.

It found that the CPRS would cause prices to rise by 1.1 per cent in 2013 - on average costing a household $624 a year.

To help with cost increases, the Rudd Government will provide direct cash assistance to most Australian households.

A total of 90 per cent of all households will receive assistance and on average these households will receive around $660 of compensation in 2013.

On average low income households are $190 better off under the CPRS - because the average price impact for low income households is $420, while their average annual assistance is $610.

Mr Howard, Mr Costello, Mr Turnbull and the Rudd Government all believe a CPRS is necessary to act on climate change because:

Over thirty countries, including all of the European Union, Japan, the United States of America, and New Zealand have either introduced or are introducing a CPRS.

Commonwealth of Australia