The steel industry were the ones who squealed the loudest about how the carbon tax would ruin their industry - horror stories about job losses and reminders of what happened in Newcastle. And they had good reason to worry, remember when Paul Howes said if the carbon tax caused one lost job, the deal was off.
But it’s all quiet on the union front for now because the steel industry will receive the biggest handout from the Gillard government – a $300 million subsidy. And it seems that other industries aren’t as outraged as expected either, they are instead breathing a sigh of relief now that a price on carbon is official, and can now make future plans with certainty. Research by the Deutsche Bank has found that we - Mr and Mrs Average - think it’s all a bit of a storm in a teacup, definitely not as bad as first thought, probably because the compensation is better than expected.
So what is Tony Abbott up to now that the legislation is finally through? The Opposition is organizing a campaign in Labor-held seats most likely to suffer under the tax and Wayne Swan’s Queensland seat is the first on the list. "I think if you're a Labor member of parliament in coal seats, steel seats, motor manufacturing seats, you ought to be very afraid of what this tax is going to do to your electoral prospects," he said. "It's one of the reasons why she wanted to avoid a sitting week was because this was not the caucus' carbon tax package, this was the Greens' carbon tax package. "The caucus has no ownership of this."
Julia Gillard has taken a huge gamble introducing this tax onto a population who didn’t want it. Tony Abbott told us Gillard was taking us down the road to ruin. Time will tell which one is right.