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10 March 2011

Stop Gillard's Carbon Tax!

Having discovered, last week, that the Gillard government was SO impressed by my previous post on the best way forward for the ETS and the Carbon Tax, that they decided to implement my plan - I was also interested in this offering from the ABC, on the issue, and thought I'd like to promote it here:

Radio network leads anti-tax uprising

Basically, pricing carbon is a good idea, and the Gillard government's plan is actually the best idea out there (even if I positied it first :-)).

Let's get over this "OMG it's a new tax!" scare campaign - admit that something needs to be done on the issue - and realise that a staged release of an ETS (via a direct pricing charge on industry) is the best way forward.

The funny thing is - I actually think this Stop Gillard's Carbon Tax campaign might just run out of media interest and momentum in time for Labor to release their details... oh... hold on, maybe that's the plan! ;-p

The details should be interresting. And, I suspect, might contain A LOT of compensation for all of the Aussie Battlers that Tony Abbott is currently trying to worry, whith his great scare campaign.

Let's forget about the "broken promises", anything that was previously said or promised, etc. etc. etc. Both sides have changed their minds. Both sides have contradicted themselves and no one can really defend themsleves on that level (except maybe the Greens).

Let's just talk about what the best solution is... here and now, for all of us. Forget the past promises and try to work out where we would and should be going from here.

If you're not convinced by the efficacy and sense of the Gillard government's plan - please post here and tell me why. I'd be happy to have the debate.

The only thing I would ask is that you read my original post first - and refute the points raised there, rather than raising another non-specific anti-tax argument off the bat.

Let the debate begin!


Helen Hill said...

Your first post is well argued and logical and I agree with its conclusions HOWEVER it fails to go into the issue of what this tax or price or legislation is actually for.
It is to get people to change their behaviour, to use less polluting forms of energy rather than things like coal and to try to waste it less (Australians are notorious wasters of energy leaving appliances on 'standby' all night and using up electricity unnecessarily, using air conditioners instead of fans and passive solar architecture etc. None of this will change if the tax (price etc.) is the only instrument used, it is a blunt instrument indeed. It would be even if everyone was super informed about the issue and agreed. There is far more in education and explanation that needs to go on, a TV ad campaign will not do it, and, as Tony WIndsor pointed out, could backfire.
What makes me astounded is that there was a higher awareness of climate change, the need to move off high emission fuels etc. a few years ago in our popular culture than there is now. Remember the TV programs where people would go around teaching families how to lower their emissions by changing things in their house? Remember Earth Day, when people turned off their lights for an hour on a Saturday night? (purely symbolic but it showed a higher level of awareness that seems to be around today). How could we have got to a situation where its simply phrases like Big New Tax or Broken Election Promise that can turn around public opinion. We need to address a big cultural issue in the way we have falled victim to such an anti-intellectual as Tony Abbott in such a short time.

Nicholas Gledhill said...

Thanks Helen - I completely agree with nearly everything you have to say. I'm not trying to solve the bigger problems, here in this discussion - I'm trying to point out why the plan the government has put forward is actually the best-of-breed in terms of the options for pricing carbon - nothing more.

I hold out a (slightly optimistic, one might argue) belief that the awareness of climate change is still there, in the general populous.

When Kevin dropped the issue of Climate Change - he began his long decent into unpopularity. People want something done on the matter. I'm not convinced that the spin doctors in the Liberal camp have it right on this one. The whole rhetoric of "Big New Tax" will get SOME people up in arms and very vocal... but I don't think it's the election winner they think it is.

I think the majority of people who were supportive of the issue, and finding a way forward for change, are still out there... it's just the campaign emphasis that's giving the impression we've all changed our minds... or lost passion for the subject.

I think (I hope) it might just back-fire on them (the way avoiding the topic did for Kevin).

When Labour loses support, not all (possibly not even most) of the lost votes are going to Liberals...

Lojac said...

seriously.....why should the Aussie public accept a tax that is being brought in on an election lie.
and not to mention the whole global warming thing is just a scare tactic to fool people into accepting this fraudulent tax it will not do anything for the environment all it will do it make the rich richer and the poor poorer.
do some research people and look at all sides not just what you are told by government stool-pigeon's

Nicholas Gledhill said...

Thanks Lojac - for your opinion. I agree that we need to look at all sides. I believe I have - and that that is what has brought me to my opinion.

What I believe is:

1) Julia was not in support of a new tax when she said we wouldn't get one (before the election)

2) She preferred the idea of an ETS

3) She found herself in a completely unpredictable situation after the election - one that requires compromise to get anything done

4) She believed getting SOMETHING done on carbon reduction was better than sticking to your idealistic position

5) She read my earlier post: (only kidding) and came to the same conclusion I did - that, while an ETS is better, a tax has advantages in the short-term (it IS only a short-term situation to bridge into the ETS, after all)

6) She did everything she had to do, to weave her way through the minority government situation she had at her disposal, to find a solution that benefits the Australian people, in the long-term, AND would get through parliament (no mean feat in this situation).

If that means she has to back-track on something she thought before the election... then I, for one, understand how that happened. And I think any denial of that very practical process is just partisan nonsense.

I agree with you that you and I both need to do lots of research on this - and I honestly believe that you will find, when you do:

1) that the science is IN on Global Warming

2) that economists will agree that a process like Labor's policy WILL make a difference to investment in carbon reducing technologies

3) that it will NOT make the gap between rich and poor larger (just look at the redistribution of income tax... for one thing)

Most poor- to middle-income families will be, on average, $9.90 a week worse off in terms of electricity bills and will get, on average $10.90 a week back in income cuts, so they're actually BETTER off...

Coupled with the fact that they can CHOSE (isn't that the right-wing mantra? "choice") to cut down on electricity use, to save that $9.90 a week and spend the $10.90 a week on something else if they wish to - therefore boosting the internal economy.

It wont boost it much, of course... but that's because $10 a week isn't much money, either in extra bills OR in income tax savings.

The truth of the matter is, if you look into the details, this policy won't make a big difference to the living standards of Australians, one way or the other - but it will do what it is designed to do, and change the investment incentives within the economy, enormously.

I am more than happy to keep debating the matter though, if you think you have any specific evidence against the policy.

robert said...

i like his blog....
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