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Parties scuffle over tax plaudits

NOW the carbon price deal has been clinched, it's everyone for themselves among the multi-party committee members.

NOW the carbon price deal has been clinched, it's everyone for themselves among the multi-party committee members.

The government is putting snippets out ahead of Sunday's announcement, because it thinks that's its most effective sales pitch. It isn't staying in lockstep with the Greens now it is at the process's sharp end.

Cut adrift to some extent, the Greens hope to get any available credit, such as for the $2 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation. After all, they have to justify caving in on a major issue like as the exclusion of petrol for motorists and small business.

But the government doesn't want the Greens to be painted as kings of renewable energy. Hey, we believe in that too, it says. It's not just the Greens that have pressed for such a measure, but the superannuation funds too, and Treasurer Wayne Swan flagged it in a speech a month ago.

But the Greens say renewables wouldn't have been so generously handled but for them. The government didn't fight the Greens over the amount of the fund it proposed the amount but it did, apparently, resist Greens pressure for more subsidies for encouraging families to use renewables in their homes.

While the alliance partners jostle, Tony Abbott has done a little (theoretical) repositioning. Remember his carbon tax plebiscite, killed by now departed senator Steve Fielding? Abbott said then he wouldn't be bound by the result.

Yesterday, introducing his already doomed plebiscite bill in the lower House, he said it was "absolutely inconceivable" that an opposition faced with a yes vote would continue to oppose the tax.


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