Cost of carbon tax could impact on health of lower-income earners

A CARBON tax could discourage lower-income Australians from taking their medication and from eating healthily, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) has warned.

RACP president Professor John Kolbe said while the college supported measures to fight climate change, the Labor Government must ensure those most susceptible to increased costs of living were given priority consideration amid efforts to place a price on carbon emissions.

“The Government needs to acknowledge that the rising prices and higher cost of living are known to lead to reduced health spending, with families cutting back on healthy food and medicine as part of their discretionary response,” he said.

“[Any] carbon tax or a carbon emissions trading scheme must not have an adverse impact on the health of our community.”