John Thistleton June 30, 2012
Concrete supplier Brett McPherson says the federal government owes him a free employee for a year to help work out the complexities of the carbon tax.
Mr McPherson employs 35 people and has 22 trucks.
His ACT and NSW customers range from mum and dad home builders, companies on high-rise projects in Civic and major government projects, such as the Belconnen health centre.
His bigger customers are asking him about likely increases.
''With a tax on everything, the GST and everything, the government should give me a free employee for the year, as far as I am concerned, to work it all out,'' Mr McPherson said.
''The GST was supposed to drop company tax. It didn't. The amount of tax we generate for the government, that we collect, you wouldn't jump over it. It's a lot.''
Mr McPherson's father established the business, Monaro Mix Specified Concrete, in 1972.
He expects the new tax will add between 1 and 2 per cent to the price of cement, the most used ingredient in his products.
The tax would quickly add up on large volumes of sand and rocks and for the price of power.
''We're working out the calculations on the increases which will be handed on to us over the next six weeks. Once we have the final figures we'll pass it on to our customers.
''It is just collecting another tax for the government as far as I am concerned.
''I have an outside accountant looking at it. That will cost me a few dollars too at the end of he day, I'd say.
''With the tax on everything, the GST and everything, the government should give me a free employee for the year, as far as I am concerned, to work it all out.''
The drive to reduce emissions has had some benefits for the business. One of its biggest recent contracts was supplying concrete for the Capital Wind Farm near Bungendore.
Wind turbines need a lot of concrete to be anchored. A new project at Cullerin, for example, used 400 tonnes for each of the 80 metre high turbines.
But the volatile price of electricity is yet another impost on the concrete manufacturer at Queanbeyan.
Mr McPherson lives out of town at Googong and said he was paying 25 per cent more for electricity than the price people in Queanbeyan were being charged.
''And people in Queanbeyan are paying a lot more than people in the ACT and it's all coming down the same grid.''