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Media Release

2014 Federal Budget response

13 May 2014

Melbourne, 13 May 2014

“This budget is a huge ‘up yours’ to the clean, renewable energy industry, climate change action and environmental protection,” said Market Forces Lead Campaigner Julien Vincent.

“If appointing a climate change denier to head the review of the Renewable Energy Target wasn’t clear enough, today’s abolition of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency makes clear that this government is not interested in even pretending it cares about switching from fossil fuels to clean, cheap renewable energy.

“On the other hand, the Age of Entitlement is clearly alive and well for the fossil fuel industry. The Treasurer had already reassured the mining industry that their fuel tax credits – worth about $2 billion per year to mining – would remain intact. When Mr Hockey said in his speech that we all need to contribute, what he seems to mean is about $200 per taxpayer to cover the mining industry’s diesel fuel bill.

“It’s a curious choice of priorities – that when somebody needs to see a doctor they now face a $7 fee, while every time a coal hauling truck is filled up it costs the taxpayer hundreds of dollars.

Market Forces research has found that subsidies that encourage the production and use of fossil fuels will amount to over $11 billion over the next financial year.

“Regardless of whether Australia has a carbon price or Direct Action as its flagship climate policy, we’re still facing a situation where billions of dollars is spent trying to convince big polluters to cut carbon emissions, while spending billions more in activities that drive emissions up.

“It’s a triumph of absurdity over common sense and sound economic management.”

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