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Businesses plan carbon tax price rises
Businesses plan carbon tax price rises

More than 40 per cent of businesses will put up prices immediately now the carbon tax has come into effect, Australia's peak industry association says.

Australian Industry Group says it has found that 40 per cent of manufacturing businesses, 40 per cent of services businesses and 44 per cent of construction businesses will try to pass the tax on to consumers from Sunday.

"(Our) survey marking the start of the carbon tax has found a big proportion of businesses (42 per cent) ... will try to put up their prices immediately following the introduction of the scheme today," Ai Group chief executive, Innes Willox, said in a statement.

He said the results were based on a survey of members in the second half of June in which they were asked about their plans to increase prices in response to the carbon tax.

Mr Willox said 60 per cent of construction material suppliers, 82 per cent of communications services businesses and 48 per cent of retail traders planned to increase their prices.

To a lesser degree, 11 per cent of food and beverage makers and 22 per cent of finance, insurance, accommodation, cafes and restaurant businesses said they would pass on the costs.

Mr Willox said there was also uncertainty over what role the consumer watchdog, the ACCC, would play in determining whether price hikes were fair.

Businesses need to be careful not to overstate the impact of the carbon tax in raising prices, he says.

Earlier, the NSW Business Chamber urged businesses in the state to go online and share stories about how the carbon tax was affecting as part of a campaign against the tax. The chamber has launched an online portal where people can share their experience.

Manufacturing Australia said the tax would make Australian business less competitive and be detrimental to the economy.

"This reduced competitiveness will ... result in job losses in Australia," the organisation said in a statement.

"It may also force our manufacturers to pursue opportunities overseas where permitted emissions are much higher, thereby increasing global pollution."

The organisation said Australia's price of $23 per tonne of carbon dioxide was almost three times as high as the price in Europe and New Zealand.

It also said Australia would be out of step with the rest of the world. The US, Canada, Japan and Russia are not introducing a carbon scheme in the near future and China and India are unlikely to act until as late as 2020.