Thoughts on the upcoming Carbon Tax revelation

So this Sunday the PM will deliver on prime time TV (well on ABC at least) her much awaited Carbon Tax plan. You remember the one she said would not happen whilst she was Prime Minster.

That we have got this far is a miracle, as all the Government’s ‘partners’ have been heartily sick & tired of the governments constant dribbling of information in-order to gain some sort of vague superiority over the Oppositions quite effective negative campaign against the tax. Although the Greens finally managed to slide the knife in by organising a press conference themselves proclaiming their disappointment that petrol would not be included in the Carbon Tax, however their price for that will in all likelyhood mean that non-business fuel will be affected by a carbon tax/price within the next three years. So putting the boot into the PM’s claim that it will never happen (much like a carbon tax then eh Prime Minister)!

My problem is not with the fact that we will be having a Carbon Tax (some of you will note that I’ve supported such a tax for a while now). My problem is with how it is being orchestrated and how the Prime Minster has deported herself on the matter (I’m leaving the Opposition’s  position out of this for the moment).

The PM can dissemble all she wants, but in the end she made a statement about the possibility of the Carbon Tax under a government she led. Added to the fact that it was she (along with our great world famous treasurer) who helped kill off the ETS, I cannot she why she and the ALP are surprised that outside of their few remaining strongholds there is now a groundswell of distrust about anything she says. Once the minority government was formed the PM should have made it crystal clear that part of her ability to form said government was an understanding with the Greens that she would seek to legislate for a carbon tax before the next election.

But she didn’t, so even if there is no negative aspects to the C-tax the voting public are unlikely to forgive & forget.

My other big problem with this policy is that it should be about changing how the public and business treat energy use. This should mean the following:

  • Making electricity more expensive
  • Making fuel more expensive & penalise larger non-business vehicles (yes urban 4WD & UTE owners I’m looking at you)
  • Making it uneconomic to maintain brown coal based power stations and mines.

To offset this any policy should:

  • Encourage R&D into renewable energy sources.
  • Encourage (or enforce via the BCA) that all new buildings have solar panelling to help offset energy use. This would also provide enough demand for panels to be made once again onshore rather than importing from other countries.
  • Encourage the use of power efficient appliances, along with making the costs of usage clear (in $ and cents).
  • Utilise the majority carbon tax funds to develop a sovereign fund to help with the above along with water use (Murray-Darling basin anyone), and general sustainability programs.
  • Encourage mass transport programmes (such as high speed links down the east coast).
  • Subsidise the energy consumption of those who are not able to pay (but obviously base this on energy usage, so no using that 50” plasma grandma).

The government should not be claiming however (as they are at the moment) that we will not be significantly out of pocket by the new legislation. This is for the following reasons:

  • Firstly we need to change how we act and so the stick of higher power & petrol bills hopefully will encourage us not to have big energy hogging appliances and cars. Also if the market bombs for these items then designers will look at more energy efficient models.
  • Consumers do pollute (sometimes directly sometime indirectly) therefore the consumer should contribute as well as the primary polluters.
  • It is naive in the extreme to assume that the primary polluters will not try and improve their margins when they have to start paying the C-Tax now the question is will the money the guvmnt is shoving our way cover those increases? I think we all know deep down that costs will continue to rise. So the electoral bandaid that are the tax offsets and direct bungs are unlikely to potential gaping wound.

In the end however we do need to see the reality of the policy and proposed legislation, which the PM will provide us on Sunday.

Unfortunately I feel it is already a failure.

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4 Responses to “Thoughts on the upcoming Carbon Tax revelation”

  1. maggsworld Says:

    A good summary and all I can say is that I agree.

  2. bondiboy66 Says:

    Yep, I’m with Maggs.

    I’d prefer the Carbon Tax to remain just tat – a tax, with funds going back to consolidated revenue (or better yet, renewable energy). An emissions trading scheme seems a tad dubious to me. I read it as a way for smart money market/bankseters to shuffle bit of paper around and make shitloads of money off it, with no real benefit in terms of reducing pollution.

  3. Aleksei and Erika Daniel Says:

    Interesting situation down under – seems you all have more trust in your government than America has in theirs. I agree with most of what was written above…but would like to add a slightly different spin on it.

    Forcing those who can least afford it to pay higher costs associated with electricity and petrol seems downright unfair, bordering on draconian. Haven’t we destroyed the middle-class enough already, trying for force them into ‘responsible’ behavior?

    As for the poor – aren’t they already subsidized and still watching TV on 50″ plasma TVs? They certainly are here… but back to the point.

    It is the depleted middle class who must then struggle to either purchase some new vehicle – which they would have done if they’d been able to afford one because of rising gas and utility prices not to mention rising prices in general and an unstable job market. India anyone?

    However, many prefer the scapegoat of SUV owners of which there are such an insignificant (in the grand scheme) number but terribly convenient to point at. It is so easy to pick on those who seemingly have more money… because redistribution of wealth makes ‘everyone’ happy… except those honestly producing and trying to enjoy their modest earnings.

    I’m of course excluding all the major multi-billionaires who have systematically raped entire nations of their coffers.

    They wouldn’t be caught dead in an SUV anyway, trust me.

    So, SUV owners shouldn’t be the targets. The desire for these vehicles has long waned here to the point that they aren’t even produced in large numbers and those that are, have better fuel economy and exist for those with large families.

    The SUV argument is simply to distract from other issues.

    It’s hard to see the larger picture amidst all the grandstanding of politicians all over the world and the atmosphere of gloom and doom designed to instill fear into the masses in order to control them with various wild schemes to distract from the real issues.

    Politicians HATE freedom. They do. They want to control every last aspect of our lives from schemes like this Carbon Scheme to what we may watch on the telly, which games we play (love the ban on Mortal Kombat) and so on. When will enough be enough?

    Politicians seem to think that honest businessmen (yes, there are some!) are too stupid to understand the benefits of cutting costs – businesses do it all the time as they want their profits. It’s the nature of business to trim costs, maximize profits!

    Except for government run businesses and those businesses getting major subsidies from governments. I think every country has a wide selection of those in every area of the economy.

    In the US, we have our albatrosses who are supposedly ‘too big to fail’ – these are the very companies that should be ‘forced’ to comply rather than small business owners and families who for the most part are cutting costs by necessity.

    Do they honestly believe that families would rather waste a quarter of our income in supporting petrol hogging vehicles, antiquated appliances of all kinds? Yeah, right.

    I think we’re all missing the point, distracted by convenient scapegoats. Just as they intend.

    It’s definitely time to dig deeper to see what their true goal might be in presenting distorted explanations of what is going on.

    Believe me, everyone wants to trim costs and to believe that we’re all wastrels in that department makes no sense.

    What is their true target and WHY?

    As they say here in America – follow the money.

    Erika

  4. One More Thing | Principled Passions Says:

    […] https://chazfh.wordpress.com/2011/07/06/thoughts-on-the-upcoming-carbon-tax-revelation/ […]

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