27 Jan 2011

Gillard seeks united support for flood levy

9:54 pm on 27 January 2011

Key Australian MPs and senators have signalled concerns about their government's flood rebuilding package.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has urged all politicians to unite to deal with the crisis which has affected New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.

Ms Gillard says flood victims and low-income earners will be exempt from a one-off levy to help meet the $A5 billion cost of paying for recent devastating floods.

The levy would apply in the 2011-12 financial year and raise $A1.8 billion. Anyone earning less than $A50,000 a year will be exempt, as will those receiving emergency flood assistance.

The ABC reports without the support of the opposition, the government will need the support of cross benchers in the lower house and the Senate.

Independent MPs are reserving their positions and some are expected to push for a Natural Emergency Fund.

The Greens say they are open to the flood levy but Greens Senator Christine Milne is furious that the government has scrapped some climate change programmes to help make $A2.8 billion in savings.