Emissions plan should protect disadvantaged

15 December 2008

ACOSS is looking for a Federal Government guarantee that no group of low income households will be financially worse off as a result of the proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS). The White Paper released today should include details of measures for households.

The Government should announce a tough but reasonable emissions reduction target of 25% by 2020 as well as measures to boost the economy through green enterprise and protect low income households.

“The cost of inaction is great. It is vital the Government act now to cut carbon pollution by 25% by 2020 to prevent dangerous temperature increases,” said Clare Martin, CEO, ACOSS. “The global financial crisis is no reason to delay. Green enterprise and employment will provide economic stimulus.”

“The transition to a low carbon economy should involve disadvantaged Australians. Low income households will be greatly affected by climate change and responses like emissions trading. They should be shielded from price hikes for essential goods and services and can be part of the transition by taking green jobs and benefiting from better home energy efficiency.”

Measures include cash compensation, energy efficiency improvements, fair tariffs with appropriate supports including hardship programs and community service obligations.

ACOSS will be looking for the following critical measures from the CPRS:

  • Full compensation for low income households for cost increases resulting from the CPRS, to be maintained in real terms over time.
  • An upgrade of basic equipment such as hot water systems and refrigerators to best practice performance standards in low income households.
  • Retrofitting of housing stock to significantly increase energy efficiency starting with low income households in both the public and private rental markets.

Media Contact: Clare Cameron – 0419 626 155