The Government hosted a meeting today of the Household Assistance Working Group. The working group of community sector leaders discussed options for the design of the generous household assistance package that the Government will deliver together with a price on carbon pollution. The Government is consulting with community organisations to help ensure the household assistance package is fair and targeted at low and middle income households and pensioners. The members of the working group represent those Australians the Government will ensure receive the most generous assistance.

The Government has now taken a complete reversal stating that “more than 50 per cent of the revenue raised from a carbon price will be used to assist households, and that the assistance will be permanent.”  Previously the Government suggested that every dollar paid by companies will be used to help families with price impacts, to support jobs in the most affected industries, and to tackle climate change.  Refer our Blog of 15 March 2011 “Another Tax Called Carbon Pricing.”  What do you think the government’s final position will be?  Maybe we should start a competition to guess the final percentage assistance to households with a $1000 prize to the winner.

The Government is also working closely with other federal agencies, as well as State and Territory Governments to ensure this household assistance connects with and complements programs and activities already in place across the country.

The final household assistance package will be announced in advance of the planned implementation of a carbon price from 1 July 2012.