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Millions of Australians "better off" under carbon tax: Climate Minister

CANBERRA, April 13 — Australian Climate Change Minister Greg Combet on Wednesday said millions of households will be better off under Labor's carbon tax, as the government has maintained that all revenue from the scheme will be used to compensate households and sensitive industries, and support energy- efficiency and new technologies.

The federal government plans to introduce a price on carbon from July 2012, with an emissions trading scheme to follow within five years.

In a move to reclaim support from middle Australia and neutralize Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's attack on the climate change package, Combet said he will use a speech at the National Press Club later on Wednesday to release key details of the proposed compensation for households under the scheme.

He said pensioners and the low-paid will be the priority for compensation, adding that most families will actually be better off under the plan.

"What we're making clear today is that more than 50 percent of carbon price revenue will be used to assist households," Combet told ABC Radio.

He said for most families, compensation will outweigh the higher cost of living that will be generated by the tax.

"There's a variety of ways that we can deliver this assistance. One of the most efficient ways is through a tax and transfer system … but we haven't finalized the detail of the delivery arrangements at this point in time."

Meanwhile, Combet said those guarantees also meant the scare campaign being waged by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was unfounded.

The Opposition has vowed to scrap Labor's carbon tax as Abbott has repeatedly stated that "What the Australian people need to understand is that the tax will be permanent (but) the compensation will be temporary." (PNA/Xinhua)

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