Coaltion claims "prices of rubber chickens to soar under the carbon tax"*
Well, I’ve been giving this whole “carbon tax” brouhaha a fair bit of a squiz and so far, I’m pretty impressed.
The starting price of $23 a ton** seems pretty realistic and the Government (and Greens and independents) seem to have constructed the compensation quite well.
• The carbon “tax” is not a tax on the average punter as such, but is a price that will be levied on large polluters to encourage them to switch to lower polluting methods. The money raised by the carton price will be used to invest in more environmentally friendly technologies and to compensate lower to middle income earners.
• Just about every commentator I’ve read argues nine out of ten Australian households will not be affected by the new price on carbon. Through a combination of measures (through changes to the income tax threshold and welfare benefits) most households will be no worse off and if they switch to companies that use either lower-polluting or non-polluting technologies (which is rather the whole idea), then a lot of people will be much better off.
• The argument that “Australia should wait for the rest of the world” is an argument for never doing anything, at any time until the end of the universe. In any case, the rest of the world is looking at forms of carbon abatement schemes. The EU has a carbon abatement scheme; the UK is looking at a carbon abatement scheme. Hell, even China is looking at a carbon abatement scheme***.
As to what it all means politically – who the fuck knows?
My suspicion is that by the next Commonwealth election in 2013, most people will be wondering what the fuss was all about and who is that funny, shouting man that seems to be leading the Federal opposition?
* Possibly not true.
**Or is it “tonne”? I can never remember.
*** A process that seems to be assisted by the fact that discussion and debate in the PRC is perhaps less than rigorous.