Australia’s inflation rate was the highest it had been in two years after consumer prices jumped in the December quarter. Aussie conservatives have blamed the country’s carbon tax for the jump in prices.
“The inflation rate continues to be impacted by Labor’s carbon tax,” said Australia’s Treasurer Joe Hockey said on Wednesday. “Labor senators should stop standing in the way of cost-of-living relief for Australian families and vote to repeal the carbon tax when parliament resumes.”
The Aussie left-wing Labor Party imposed a tax on carbon dioxide emissions in the summer of 2012. The policy contributed to job losses and rising prices throughout the country, according to reports, and helped the conservative Liberal-National coalition win a landslide victory last year by opposing the tax.
The country’s consumer price index for the December quarter rose by 0.8 percent, nearly double what economists predicted. This pushed the annual inflation rate from 2.2 percent to 2.7 percent, pushing the upper limits of the Australian Reserve Bank’s inflation target. This is the highest inflation rate in two years.
Economists say that bad weather driving up produce prices and a falling Aussie dollar are to blame for the inflation, but conservatives have put most of the blame on the carbon tax — which raises energy bills.
When Prime Minister Tony Abbott came into office last year, he made it a top priority to repeal the country’s carbon tax. It has been labeled as the world’s most onerous carbon tax and has been blamed by conservatives for the country’s economic woes.
Governor Tom Corbett announced today that the Department of Environmental Protection will invest more than $20.65 million in watershed protection projects to improve watersheds, reduce stormwater runoff and acid mine drainage (AMD), and support educational programs, among other environmental efforts.
“Maintaining water quality and protecting Pennsylvania’s resources is an important focus of my administration,” Corbett said. “The millions invested in these grants demonstrate our continued commitment to protecting and preserving our environment and natural resources for generations to come.”
This year, the Growing Greener program, funded by the Environmental Stewardship Fund, will award $15,120,608 for 97 projects around the state. Four additional projects, funded by the Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Grant, will receive $1,953,947. Two additional grants, totaling $406,975, are funded by the AMD Set Aside Program.
- Cornplanter Township, Oil Creek Streambank Stabilization: $120,000
- Iron Furnace Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Porcupine Run Fish Passage: $132,227
- Venango Conservation District, Little Sandy Creek and Sugar Creek Streambank Stabilization: $28,308