Archive for the ‘Econimics and Business’ Category

Thoughts on the upcoming Carbon Tax revelation

July 6, 2011

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.

Not long now til the next election..whoopee!!!!

February 19, 2010

Well as the election year moves along and the signs of another possible double dissolution draws nearer we really have to look at what ‘The Rudd Government’ has achieved.

The apology for the Stolen Generation is probably the Keystone of the parliamentary term. A historic event full of hyperbole but long, long overdue. However movement on aboriginal health, housing and education has been glacially slow and to be honest there has been very little change in performance of policy than under the Rodent. The continual screw ups made by the state governments do not help and the actual results of the NT intervention are not being highlighted, which in a country now ruled very much by spin means that, that initially well intentioned but still patriarchal policy is probably failing.

Next came the burial of Work Choices. We can all remember the apocalyptic adverts run by the ACTU on how evil bosses are and how they pick on single mothers. There was again balance in the legislation brought in by the new government and it’s probable success is based on the fact that all sides found fault with the rules brought in.

The Murray-Darling river system had been the subject of some fairly hard hitting legislation by the Rodents government and its intent was to effectively federalise the river system if the states would not play ball. This was the first of the ALP’s failures’ as the Boy Kevin it seemed would not challenge the SA,QLD and NSW state governments about their wholesale destruction of the river system. This more than the ETS, is a damning indictment of Penny Wong and a clear indication of her lack of suitability for the position she holds. It is now over 3 years since the matter was first politically highlighted and still the Federal Government has not acted decisively.

The slow motion car crash that is our health system was meant to be another defining moment for the Rudd Government as Kev 24/7 made lots of macho posturing about federalising health care if the States didn’t pull their finger out. Obviously at the time it was NSW’s health system that was most in peoples minds. So whats happened? Errr… nothing. It is likely that the Ruddbot will be launching a policy to go into the election with. So any potential improvements are at least 1-2 years away. The health system is however likely to be a main plank of the ALP’s election policy with the potential for a double dissolution in the medicare levy coming back up for a 2nd bite of the cherry in a few weeks. It seems that with the ETS becoming less and less important politically that Kevin may try and call an election on health rather than climate change. This in itself is risky as his failure to act as promised will be a big stick that the Libs will use against him.

Now who remembers the biggest issue of our time? Yes Climate Change. The ETS was another BIG IDEA that Kev 24/7 was going to sort out this term…and it’s been bounced twice by the Senate, and is more than likely be bounced again shortly. This piece of policy shows Kevin Rudd’s hubris more than any other. Rather than try and explain what was a bad piece of complex legislation (where a more simple carbon tax and sustainability investment policy would have works much, much better) the Ruddbot and his cheerleaders just happily descended into the school yard and just insulted anyone who disagreed. Why they do not see this actually puts the electorate off and encourages the climate change sceptics is beyond me. However I suppose as this is the general attitude of the majority of the so called AGW proponents I find it completely unsurprising that the general public are becoming more sceptical of the reality of AGW. Penny Wong’s assertion the other day that climate change sceptics are no better than those who didn’t believe smoking damaged your health clearly shows the depths to which the current administration are willing to plumb and why more and more people disagree with the governments assertions on climate change. That the Ruddbot refused to go for a double dissolution on the ETS shows a fragility in the government and perhaps a real weakness in their ability to argue the policy rather than just spin it.

The economy may be Kev’s rescuer. We have not suffered like most of the world over the last couple of years. However I must admit to being sceptical that the various bungs that were paid out to people could not have been better organised so that policy was created to encourage people to gain real jobs and for more job creation..say in sustainable industries. How many people remember Kevin and Swanny rubbishing the Australian economy just before the rest of the world went down the gurgler? That they now criticise that idiot Barnaby Joyce in his worries about us being able to pay off our debt is ironic to say the least. Of course in the end the reason why we in Australia have dodged the bullet is because of the PRC and India.

Education was another big Kevvy promise, well the Laptop promise became less core as time went on. Then came the education infrastructure programme that was so badly run that money had to come from the homeless housing programme to balance the books (well I suppose they think that the very poor don’t vote). The government’s inability to run big programmes became even more clear though this year.

‘Free Insulation for Everyone’ what a great idea. However rather than planning this properly and running it over a longer time period the policy was created on the fly and HAD to be finished before the next election. This has lead to the deaths of four installers and allegations that a sizable proportion of installations were done incorrectly and formed possible health hazards. I feel sorry for Peter Garrett ,but then Pete has been royally shafted by not being able to really being the passion he has for environmental causes to the fore as Penny (the polluters lawyer) Wong got the role he should have had. The Ruddbots jellyfish approach to Whaling has now been re-emphasised by giving the Japs until this November to stop whaling in our waters. I bet they’re really scared.

Then we have lack of communications, Stephen Conroy’s plan to filter out of the internet whatever he wants has been roundly slammed but the opposition has not really taken it to heart. The we have the bung to the TV stations of $250 Million that was quietly slid in this week. And finally a Grande Projet to roll out highspeed broadband across those all of Australia..that already has it. The national company set up to do this has no business plan and it seems the best way to get a job therein is to be a corrupt ALP pollie/staffer. Basically the government who allegedly was so communications savvy actually has no idea how the internet works.

The big problem is though that there is no alternative…none that it that really deserves power. The Libs may reclaim lost ground as it seems that the Mad Monk is reclaiming a lot of disillusioned floating voters so it might be that we get a narrowing of the gap. If the ALP don’t improve in the senate it’s not going to be a happy time for Kevvy over the next few years. Maybe it’s time for Julia to take over as I for one am tired of Kevin Rudd’s sermonising. I find it funny that the ALP attack Papal Skills for his religious views when the Ruddbot goes on (constantly) about his faith and cosy’s up with Fielding and the rest of the religious nutters.

Is it insider trading if the Guvmnt does it?

September 16, 2009

Well it was fun watching Senator Conroy stick his garlic smeered stilletoe into the back of Telstra last night. And out gushed the blood or I should say share price, which dived when the market realised that Telstra was becoming less of a cash cow.

Not that the policy in itself is wrong as lets face it Telstra got away with blue murder for just under 20 years. Although it is interesting it happened after Sol left with all his dirty money.

More importantl;y though is the question of why did the government dispose of over $2 billion of shares last month? It is innocent in the extreme to assume that the Ruddbot’s little helpers were not aware that this policy was going to be put into place this month, the release of which was bound to negatively effect Telstra’s share price.

Besides that particularly dirty piece of political arrangement, it is not unreasonable to assume that the mockers are being put on Telstra so that the cost of the Boy Kevins national broadband project will cost slightly less (by using telstra’s existing infrastructure). The full plan for which and clearer costings of, are still no nearer to being published.

But having spent so much already on his stimulus packages Kev’s got to find some savings somewhere. however unless something pretty nasty happens he’ll win the election next year and that’ll mean us having to suffer him making his insincere and basically embrassing pronouncements for a good while yet.

Hell hath no fury…

July 9, 2009

…..Compared to a facist regime scorned, or so it seems.

One has to say that the arresting of four Rio negotiators in the PRC is more than slightly sus

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8140444.stm

it would seem to me more likely that this is an attempt by the PRC to put pressure on their iron ore suppliers ‘Pour encourage les autres’.

Now will the Ruddbot demand that they be given a fair shake of the sauce bottle when it comes to a show trial? 🙂

Almost beyond belief..well almost

May 26, 2009

I had to laugh at Sol Trujillo parting shots at Austrlaia as he scurrys back accross the pacific with wads of cash sticking out of his pockets.

http://business.smh.com.au/business/racist-backward-sols-parting-shot-20090526-bl3p.html

It would seem that HIS failiure to improve Telstra’s performance both materially and in the share market is because the Lucky Country is backward and racist. not because he is incapable of doing his job properly and has a history of screwing up telecomms companies.

I just wonder which unlucky set of shareholders are going to be his next victims.

Talking about victims, I read with interest how the death of one son and the serious wounding of another has effected the mental stability of their mother.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/hells-angels-and-demons-a-mothers-plea-for-justice-20090525-bks3.html?page=-1

Much like the old time East End firms it seems that Peter and Anthony Zervas loved theuir mum. But just like the mothers of the Moran boys and Carl Williams it’s clear that there is a real disconnect between mrs Bromwich’s rose tinted vison and the brutal reality of the world that her sons lived in and made money out of. I see it as ironic that only now with one son in the ground and another serious injured that she has partially seen the light, ignoring the misery that the actions of her sons and their associates have brought upon probably hundreds if not thousands of families over the years. 

And talking about criminal organisations it seems that the church of Scientology is living up to the Arch-Thetans legacy by hvaing some of it’s top aliens in waiting  coming up before the beak to answer charges of fraud.

http://www.smh.com.au/world/church-of-scientology-on-trial-for-fraud-20090526-bl0k.html

Shocking n’est pas?

More taxes anyone?

April 24, 2009

It’s always trendy to soak the rich, and I note that Gormless Gordon (the man who as chancellor of the exchequer famously claimed to have erradicated boom and bust from the business cycle and now has to find GDP45 billion quickly) has started to move in that direction to the expected squels of pain from the Square Mile.

Now we here in the lucky country have a few problems, and the main one is a ballooning national debt and an alleged third stimulus package to be revealed in the budget in a couple of weeks. Now if general tax/royalty reciepts are down and the Ruddbot doesn’t want to do a Gough he’s going to have to rise interest rates and just picking on the rich list (whilhst good for spin) is not going to help too much and that means the chattering classes having to take a hit as well.

http://business.smh.com.au/business/rich-face-higher-taxes-rudd-20090424-ahb7.html

Hmm and we have an election coming into play soon. So are we going to see some real fiscal policies that include a bit of pain after our pleasure (usually it’s the other way around) or is the Ruddbot going to be banking on being re-elected before hitting us with a tax hike.

Manchurian Candidate or incompetant pollie?

April 9, 2009

Well more ‘revelations’ about Joel fitzgibbon and his relationship with the PRC.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/lius-ties-to-beijing-revealed-20090408-a0vu.html

What is interesting is that a certain junior treasury member has started briefing how we should not be too concerend about china.

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/treat-china-with-care-and-cut-out-the-scaremongering-oneliners-20090408-a0s5.html

This to me shows that Kev and his advisors are quite worried about the negative effects of the perceived (rightly or wrongly) pro-PRC slant of this current government. PR is everything to Kev 24/7 and his continued high rating reflects a concerted positive spin put out by a very effective media team, plus of course many populist economic policies which could be seen as vote buying if you were very cynical.

As a learned collegue put to me a week or so ago economically Ruddy Kev’s shot his load in one go and so if things turn nastier the cupboard is bare. Of course he could always go cap in hand to his mates in Beijing!

But it is always nice to see the ALP showing  that it’s relationship with the Union movement makes it ideal for corruption to spread

http://www.smh.com.au/national/doubts-over-disclosure-of-poll-fund-20090408-a0vs.html.

Kev’s not going to be happy about this coming out in the open. but the one thing I’ve learnt from the modern Labour movement (both here and in the Uk) is that political corrption is more ingrained therein than on the other side of chamber. Tory style corruption tends to be individualised whereas Labour style corruption is systemic.

Mr Swans tough talking

April 8, 2009

Wayne Swan’s inability to actually talk tough and seem on top of his job never ceases to amaze me. I’m sure that it’s only the lack of creadibility of his oppo on the other side of the divide

http://bigpondnews.com/articles/TopStories/2009/04/08/Banks_need_a_kick_up_the_bum_-_Swan_319856.html

So banks need a kick up the bum do they? And of course wayne you’re the man to do it.. er no Kevin would probably do that on your behalf or at least get Julia to give them a good whiping 9which they’d probably enjoy esp if any of them went to Kings….

Seriously though with the RBA giving out only a 25 basis point cut in rates and the Ruddbot getting the banks to hold off on interest payments on the loans of peopele who’ve lost their jobs, really what does Mr Swan expect? The banks still need to make some money and they do that via interest rates and bank charges (as they seem incapable of doing so on the markets!!).

Playground populism, how very mature……….. wonder if he knows what the latest CPI figure is? :))

Move over Telstra, Kev’s going to do the broadband himself

April 7, 2009

So in line with many ALP policies it seems that The Boy Kevin knows more about the intermernethingy than those in the Telcoms industry, and is therefore going to set up his own business to produce 100MBps broadband   (without Porn of course).

http://business.smh.com.au/business/broadband-gets-go-ahead-20090407-9v8m.html

The figures seem to be an $43 billion investment over 8 years, the good news is that they’re hitting Tassie first, so Dirk may finally get decent download speeds. The question is as they’re doing this, will the Gov also become an ISP and will it also be doing it’s filtering programme? I’m now wondering if the quietening down on the ISP filter front is because they’re planning to stealth it in on the back of this new network.

Not that I’m paranoid mind

Populist economics class 101

March 6, 2009

Well I heartened that the Boy Kevin is going on national television to tell us how to weather the coming economic storm and no doubt tell us how to spend the $900 he’s bunging us. The twist is that allegeldy the studio at channel 7 will be filled with people who’ve lost their jobs…I wonder if they’ve been checked to make sure they’re not card carrying ALP/Union memebers or Libs for that matter..just so there’ll be some objectivity. personally I couldn’t be more insulted and embrassed that our PM is sinking to this level of populism.

But then of course he’s said he wants the $17 Mill in gov. grants that Pacific Brands got over the last couple of years paid back. Err yes excellent copy but how many people do the company still planning to employ in Aus? I believe i saw that they’ll still employ around 7000 9but i could be wrong. But along with the well thought out wildcat strike of today it’s obvious the unions believe they have a cause celebre..turkey’s voting for Xmas the lot of them. I remember another cause celebre back in the UK. And comrade Arthur Scargill by calling a national coal strike (in order to protect jobs) managed to single handedly wreck the british coal industry and destroy dozens of communities.. So yes lets punish the company some more stop production and then it can either go bust or operate totally off shore..excellent planning brothers!

And in the UK? Well the former Iron Chancellor is driving the old mother country into the ground. Their cash rate is now 0.5% and the bank of england is planning to print lots and lots of money. Hmm Weimar republic anyone? The Labour Gov in the UK is more and more of a joke and it looks like the tories will be well in in the next election.

Now finally it’s looking like the Gen X’s are not going to have to carry the whole can on this one so the Gen Y’s and Gen Zeds get to play as well ..esp in the USA.

Happy weekend everyone!!