by Alan Thornhill
Seven million Australian workers will find, over the coming fortnight, that they have extra money in their pockets and purses.
That will be a direct result of the tax changes the government has made, to offset price rises that will come with the new carbon tax.
The most significant of these is the trebling of the tax free threshold.
Senior ministers were out at the weekend, selling these changes.
Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan worked the crowds together in a double act, at a barbeque in Brisbane.
“It’s a week now since carbon pricing started,” the Prime Minister said.
“And it’s very clear that the sky hasn’t fallen in.”
Ms Gillard said Australians now have an opportunity to “judge for themselves.”
“Seven million Australians are going to see a tax cut in the pay packet they are getting this week or the next,” she added.
Mr Swan implicitly acknowledged that Australians are worrying most, about the power bills that will come in the wake of the carbon tax.
“We all know that power bills have increased a lot in recent years – long before the price on carbon,” he said.
That had happened mainly because billions of dollars had been spent upgrading the towers, poles and wires, that bring electricity to our homes.
But Mr Swan acknowledged that power bills will rise again, in the wake of the new tax.
On average, they would go up by about $3.30 a week, for each family.
But he said the government will be offsetting this with assistance worth an average of $10.10 a week, through tax cuts, extra family assistance and pension increases.
Mr Swan even got personal, with some extra advice on what you can do to keep your power bills down.
Washing clothes in cold rather than hot water could save you around $115
Getting rid of the second fridge could save you around $140;
Using a clothesline instead of an electric dryer once a week could save you around $63; and
Switching off gaming consoles at the power point could save you up to $150.
“This shows you can do your bit to help the environment and help your family budget at the same time,” Mr Swan said.
Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
Private Briefing is updated daily with Australian personal finance news, analysis, and commentary.
Sunday May 19
The Dow Jones Index rose 121.18 points Friday,New York time) to 15,354.40
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