Tax will be axed … Christopher Pyne. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen / Fairfax
The Coalition will call a double dissolution election if it wins government but is prevented by the Senate from getting rid of the carbon tax, says frontbencher Christopher Pyne.
Mr Pyne was responding to a report in The Australian Financial Review that research by both major parties showed voters don’t believe Tony Abbott will be able to repeal the tax if he becomes prime minister.
The Opposition Leader has repeatedly made a “blood pledge” to scrap the price on carbon, saying “such political future as I have got rests entirely on beating this tax”.
Focus group research revealed that Coalition voters are less inclined to trust promises by politicians – a scepticism that was ironically accelerated by the Prime Minister’s change of policy on the carbon tax.
Separate research conducted by Labor showed that the participants overwhelmingly believed the tax was here to stay.
Mr Pyne told Sky News today that the Coalition will use a double dissolution election to abolish the Labor measure, if necessary.
“If the Senate is still controlled by the Labor-Green alliance [after the next election], and they refuse to roll back the carbon tax, then we will have another election,” Mr Pyne told Sky News.
“We are telling the Australian public right up front, we will abolish the carbon tax … you couldn’t be any clearer than that.”
Mr Pyne said the next election, likely to be held late next year, would be a referendum on the carbon tax and not Labor’s preferred issue, workplace relations.
Julia Gillard pushed industrial relations and jobs to the forefront of her government’s bid for re-election in a speech to the NSW Labor conference yesterday.
But Mr Pyne said she ignored the “elephant in the room” by not addressing the alliance between the Greens and Labor.
The Prime Minister was just “swinging in the breeze” while half a dozen or so senior Labor figures waiting in the wings decided which one of them should take her place, the manager of opposition business in the House of Representatives said.