Topics:  carbon tax, ross fraser, transport

It's unfair, says business chief

LESS than a week into the new financial year and the contentious issue of the carbon tax is already on everybody's lips, especially those of local business owners.

Fraser's Transport director Ross Fraser had nothing nice to say about the new tax, branding it "grossly unfair".

Although transport companies are not set to be hit with the tax until 2014, Mr Fraser said it was a worrying concept.

"I am very concerned about it and the worst thing is I have not been able to find one person who is able to tell me how taxing carbon is going to help anything," he said.

Mr Fraser said he was battling costs in other areas in the lead-up to the implementation of the tax.

"Prior to that we're seeing a 10% excise on fuel and a 23% increase in road train insurance. So we are being hit hard from all directions," he said yesterday.

Mr Fraser said he was waiting to see how his suppliers' prices would change under the new system and expected to be hit in areas such as electricity and equipment costs such as tyres.

John Dee manager Warren Stiff said he was apprehensive about the impacts of the tax but said the company would not be classed as a big polluter.

"It will have a flow-on effect but we are not at a level where it will affect us directly," he said.

"I'm not going to say we're not concerned because we are already seeing some cost increases. We have had a national wage increase, energy costs increase and some other general supplies increase."

He said the company would not pass on the costs to its customers as other businesses would, and would instead focus on increased efficiency to offset the cost of the tax.



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