Jody and Steve Walker and their children Alexandra and Ben are hoping to reap some benefits from the carbon tax as a family.
Jody and Steve Walker and their children Alexandra and Ben are hoping to reap some benefits from the carbon tax as a family.

Carbon tax challenges

JODY and Steve Walker aren't among the country's big polluters and they don't rank among the big earners either, but they do expect their power bill to rise as a result of the carbon tax.

"In Australia we take everything for granted. If we want power we just switch a light on," said Steve.

Member for Capricornia Kirsten Livermore compared the attitude towards electricity to that of water and said that during the restrictions people learned to use less water.

"When the restrictions were lifted, people still used less water because a new habit had formed," she said.

And Steve agreed that if the carbon tax could provide a similar incentive to people to rethink the way they use power, then maybe consumers could see a reduction in power bills rather than an increase.

Steve is a full time student who does some casual work and Jody is a teacher.

They have two children and said their income falls below the $65,000 cut-off for families to receive tax cuts up to $303.

The increase in the tax-free threshold also means they will not pay tax on the first $18,200 each of them earns and Steve's Austudy allowance will increase by $177 per year.

Ms Livermore said Steve and Jody would also see an increase of 1.7% to both portions of their Family Tax Benefit.

"It will more than compensate for the expected additional costs.

"Altogether Steve and Jody will be receiving an extra $500 per year thorough their family assistance and up to an extra $1500 depending on their taxable income," she said.

While the Walkers are backing the tax, the latest Nielsen poll reveals they are in the minority.

The poll, published in Fairfax newspapers, showed support for the carbon tax had fallen to 33% - its lowest level since the policy was announced last year.

Opposition to the carbon tax had risen to 62% in the Nielsen poll, its highest level in 15 months.

It comes after an Essential Vision poll showed similar levels of support and opposition for the carbon tax.


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