Carbon casualties - three million families will suffer under new carbon tax regime

THE Samuelsons are the face of the carbon tax three million - the families who will bear the cost of the Gillard government's latest levy.

Teddy Samuelson and her husband Nik from Castle Hill will be out of pocket about $700 a year even after receiving increased family payments of about $75, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The stay-at-home mum said her husband worked "bloody hard for his money" with the family battling existing expenses and the cost of raising three boys in Sydney on Mr Samuelson's wage of more than $150,000 a year.

"When I look at bills I think what we pay now is more than enough - to think that number is going to rise is just wrong," Mrs Samuelson said yesterday. "I don't think anyone is really sure how much the tax is going to impact their lives."

She said the concept of taxing families who are earning more but not compensating them was unfair: "I don't see why we have to suffer because he earns slightly more."

While the increased financial burden will hurt, it was the way the government handled the policy which frustrated the Samuelsons most: "I don't believe the Australian public should pay for big business's carbon emissions. "A lot of the debate is based on inconclusive scientific evidence ... we don't really get a say in anything any more."

The almost three million Australian households who will either not be compensated or will get only partial assistance includes single-income parents earning $65,000 or more and singles on more than $55,000.

Treasurer Wayne Swan yesterday provided an example of parents on a dual income totalling $85,000 with two young children who would be $375 a year better off. But that will be paid for in part by families earning more.

The highest income earners - on $200,000 a year - will be out of pocket more than $1000 a year. At the other end of the spectrum, four million low-income households will be better off and two million will be fully compensated.

The government yesterday declared the debate over. Prime Minister Julia Gillard said in a speech to a carbon expo in Melbourne: "The time for words ended yesterday." After a standing ovation, Ms Gillard said "a second industrial revolution is needed" and carbon pricing was the "key that unlocks the door to a clean energy future".


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