Australia Treasurer Wayne Swan said that the government will help expand the country's clean-energy sector through targeted investments as the opposition and businesses fumed at the introduction of the carbon tax, which came in to force on Sunday.
"Today marks the start of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency," Swans said in his regular economic note. The agency will manage A$3.2 billion in grants and financial assistance to help develop and commercialise renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. It will work alongside the A$10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation, an independent body.
Clean Energy Finance Corporation will work with the private sector to invest in businesses seeking funds to get innovative clean-energy proposals and technologies off the ground. "This funding, combined with the carbon price, will kickstart about A$100 billion in investment in the renewables sector over the next 40 years," Swan said.
He said Australia generates more pollution per person than any developed country in the world. Without action, it is expected to rise by almost 2 percent a year to 2020, he added.
Swan said to cope with the modest cost of living impact of the carbon prices, every worker earning up to A$80,000 a year will receive a tax cut, with most getting at least A$300 a year. A second round of tax cuts will apply from July 1, 2015, increasing this annual saving to at least A$380.
by RTT Staff Writer
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