CANBERRA – [AAP]
The federal government insists it has not made any decision to impose a so-called carbon tax on cars.
Reports suggest new hardline carbon-emission rules are being considered, which industry sources say could push up the price of a new car by as much as $5000.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters in London on Tuesday he had not seen the reports.
‘Certainly no decisions have been made in that regard at all,’ he said.
Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg described the reports as a beat-up, arguing consultation on fuel efficiency standards has been ongoing since October 2015 and no final decision has been made.
‘There is as much chance of a carbon tax on cars as Elvis making a comeback,’ he told ABC TV.
‘The only thing the government is interested in is how do we reduce the fuel costs for families on their vehicles.’
Peak motoring body, the Australian Automobile Association believes a policy that drives such a price rise would have the perverse outcome of stopping people buying new cars, instead forcing them to keep their older, dirtier vehicles.
‘Even the makers of the Toyota Prius would be penalised under the government’s proposed emission scheme rules,’ chief executive Michael Bradley told ABC radio.