Axing the Carbon Tax set to cost taxpayers $15bn, says study

GETTING rid of the carbon tax could see taxpayers footing a $15 billion bill, "effectively granting major polluters' subsidies", analysis of three key policies shows.

The Climate Institute analysis compares the Abbott government's plans, the existing Labor laws, and the Palmer Uniter Party proposals to international estimates of the "cost of climate change".

Released on Monday, the review of the three options showed "only the carbon laws come within cooee of credible climate policy"; institute chief executive John Connor said.

It also came as a group of more than 50 reputable economists urged the government not to dissolve the existing laws in an open letter to the government.

They argued that to remove the existing laws, and failing to act on carbon emissions would "cost future generations dearly", co-author and former Liberal leader Dr John Hewson wrote.

The Climate Institute analysis, comparatively, found the top 10 carbon emitters in Australia would be "effectively subsidised" to between $6 billion and $15 billion each year.

"Repeal of the carbon laws will usher in a new era of regulatory and community volatility that will institutionalise uncertainty and instability for carbon intensive business and those businesses that rely on them," Mr Connor said.

"The sooner stable, long-term and effective policy is in place, the sooner our prosperity is on a safer path and Australia can help rather than hinder global climate change action."

While the government had hoped to pass the carbon tax repeal bills on Monday, the Senate instead moved them to committee, allowing for an extra week for the upper house committee to examine the bills.

This was despite the same legislation already being voted down twice in the Senate, and the third attempt likely to pass with crossbench support.