By Brook Sabin
Update: Petrol prices around the country have just increased - BP, Shell, Mobil and Caltex have just increased costs by three cents or more.
The cost of living just went up – courtesy of the environment.
The Government is predicting the Emissions Trading Scheme, which came into effect today, will stop 19 million tonnes of carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere in its first three years.
Everything, from petrol to power and food, faces price increases.
“All these extra costs are going to have a huge impact on people,” says budgeter Pam McKenzie.
From today, petrol is set to go up 3.5c per litre. Diesel will go up 4c.
That will increase transport costs, meaning everything from food, clothes and home appliances may face a modest price increase.
Power is likely to go up around 1.5c per kilowatt per hour.
The Government estimates the average family will pay an extra $5 per week under the changes.
But that’s not the only increase taking affect from this morning.
“ACC went on, so that means people who have got cars will pay more for their registrations,” says Ms McKenzie.
“In future we’re going to see an increase in GST, which is going to put a huge cost on food.”
The increase in price comes as fuel and energy companies begin charging their customers for the emission units they have to buy, to offset greenhouse gases released as their goods and services are used.
Greenpeace says just because everything is getting more expensive in the name of the environment, don’t think you’re saving it.
“The Emissions Trading Scheme is not really going to do much to cut real emissions – unfortunately it’s really badly designed,” says a spokesperson.
If you’re beginning to feel a little short-changed, the Government claims tax changes announced in the budget will more than compensate for the new cost of living.