The Federal Government’s bill to aid the steel industry from the impact of the carbon tax has been described as a “large band aid”, by Deputy Leader of the Nationals Senator Nigel Scullion during a speech in the Senate Chamber yesterday.
“Straight away, immediately after the imposition of the carbon tax, they are out here with the bandaids,” Senator Scullion said.
“This plan is the very first bandaid—and it is a very large bandaid—to try to save the two biggest players in the very important steel industry.
“There is no point putting your arm around the wounded soldier with a bullet hole in his leg and giving him your bandaid while saying, ‘It will be okay; I’m going to help you get better,’ when you were the one who shot him in the leg.
“It would be the height of hypocrisy for you to do that.
“Labor has said that businesses want certainty. They do want certainty, but I do not think they want the grim certainty of the financial future that this government has just provided them.
“We know that the very next day after the government announced this $300 billion steel plan $300 million was wiped off the joint share packages of BlueScope and OneSteel.
“Of course, the steel plan now being brought in will do them no good at all—and, aside from that, the $300 million in the plan has come from Australian taxpayers, which means fewer schools and fewer hospitals.
“The people who own the shares are not companies; they are people. They are Australians, and the shares represent their superannuation, and $300 million of that has been wiped out.
“I can tell you that what they do not really need now is a bullet wound in the head.
“It is not a wound; there is no bandaid that will fix this. It has been demonstrated, once again, that this carbon tax threatens the very existence of Australian based industries,” Senator Scullion said.
Download media release:
Steel aid plan just a large band aid.pdf