Labor has blocked repeal of the carbon tax, sparking Federal Government accusations of gross hypocrisy in its WA Senate election campaign.
Brandishing a tearout of _The West Australian _ in Parliament yesterday, Prime Minister Tony Abbott contrasted Labor's vote in the Senate with ALP lead candidate Joe Bullock's declaration in this newspaper that Labor was "scrapping the carbon tax".
"They should stop saying one thing in Perth and doing the opposite in Canberra," Mr Abbott said.
Labor's intransigence on the carbon tax came as another potential blockage emerged for the Government's legislative agenda.
Clive Palmer, whose party will have at least two senators from July 1, yesterday threatened to withhold support for the repeal of the mining tax unless the coalition reversed a decision to strip a $211-a-year welfare payment from orphaned children of war veterans.
"I've been the biggest opponent of the mining tax all my life but I'm not going to persecute young children because of it," Mr Palmer told ABC radio.
"If a person has given their life for Australia, we should be sure that the Australian Government won't attack their children after they have gone."
Deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop said that as a mining magnate, Mr Palmer "amongst all people" should know that the mining tax was bad for the economy and bad for WA.
Labor and the Greens combined in the Upper House to defeat the carbon tax repeal Bills 33 votes to 29, forcing the Government to wait until the new Senate assembles on July 1 before it can make another attempt. Mr Abbott has pledged to make the re-run election a referendum on Labor's refusal to back the repeal of the tax.
Shadow environment minister Mark Butler yesterday defended the Opposition's stance.
He said Labor's amendments to end the carbon tax a year early by bringing forward the transition to an emissions trading scheme to July 1 had been stymied by coalition and Greens senators.
"Labor has been upfront about our intentions since before the 2013 election - we will repeal the carbon tax if there is a credible plan to address climate change."
The Government is a step closer to a double dissolution election trigger by reintroducing legislation to wind up the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation three months after it was first rejected by the Senate.