Before you listen to Greens Party hysteria about the Rudd government’s announcement about reducing carbon pollution not being enough, consider this line from the government’s plan:
“The sale of (carbon polluting) permits will raise $11.5 billion for the Australian Government in 2010/11.”
That’s a big chunk of change. A massive new tax on Australian industry and energy production. Greens party propagandists say it’s “only 5%” referring to the government’s target for carbon pollution cuts. Forget that. It’s an $11.5 billion new tax on pollution. There’s never been anything like it in Australian history. It creates a big financial incentive to reduce carbon emissions, the objective of the cap and trade system.
And for those all chubbed-up over targets, Samantha Maiden explains:
Echoing the Prime Ministerâ€™s climate change advisor Ross Garnautâ€™s recent intervention in the debate, the Government will argue the cut is equivalent to a 27-34 per cent cut below 2000 levels when you factor in a population growth of 45 per cent between 1990 and 2020.
There you go. Change you can believe in. But the target is a small issue, however much it is the preoccupation of sandal-wearers and weird scientists, because it will continue to be largely irrelevant until every country embraces a similar tax on carbon pollution. The government rightly argues that technology and other jurisdictions coming on board will no doubt make further reductions in carbon pollution possible in the future.
They appear to have got the balance right.
The public policy issue is that from 2010 a massive new tax on pollution will be in place. The fact that the Greens party wanted a much higher tax that could have gutted an already strained economy in the midst of a possible recession, the fact the Liberals seem set to support the government’s proposal on a bi-partisan basis confirms that balance.
The fact that it will be spent on worthy pursuits and compensation to help the worse off is welcome but the government warns the cost of living will increase directly by 1.1 per cent across the economy. The government has put a lot of thought into compensation and they seem to have covered all contingencies. They’ll be hoping so. The massive new tax on pollution starts just before an expected federal election.
VEXNEWS has one issue though. We don’t think a cut in fuel tax is a good idea. We think it ought to be the highest priority of the democracies around the world to permanently reduce our dependence on oil imported from the world’s worst regimes, and that’s pretty much all of it. The price of oil will go up and down depending on fundamentals in the economy and speculation about its direction. We need to build a world where oil is cheaper than water because we’ve walked away from using it, a dirty source of energy mainly controlled by governments with contempt for our way of life who for the most part end up like more repressive versions of Nauru. See we agree with mung-bean eaters about something.