It’s official: Gillard’s Carbon Tax is legitimately bullshit

Julia Gillard & Labor's Carbon Tax was announced today, in the wake of vitriolic protesters across the nation who are too clever to have the smoke pulled over their eyes.

The Australian Labor Government today finally released its plan to penalise 500 large companies by making them pay $23 for every tonne of carbon they emit. The companies will be allowed to pass on 100% of the increased costs to customers.

But don’t worry, says Julia Gillard, who will more than triple the tax free threshold from the current $6000 to $18,200 from July, 2012, and to $19,400 by July, 2015, plus introduce a Clean Energy Supplement –  a 1.7% boost to welfare payments – paid through Centrelink.

So the result?

NO large companies will be penalised through the Carbon tax, instead, the total sting of the tax will be borne by ordinary, innocent Aussies earning a decent wage, and those struggling with small businesses.

Everything from buying a parma-and-pot to having a haircut is tipped to rise as small business struggles under the new tax.

Look, I’m all for a raise to the tax-free threshold. That has needed to happen simply to balance the ridiculous cost of living in this country for literally a decade or more. It has absolutely nothing to do with a Carbon Tax. It’s an insult that Government was holding back on such a normal, necessary tax reforms like that, only to use it as a ten-year-overdue “deal sweetener” while they introduce another tax.

In its defence, all Julia Gillard can say is a patronising “you’re going to hear all sorts of scary stories, people shouldn’t worry about those scary stories“.

(Source: http://video.heraldsun.com.au/2043659338/Gillard-says-coal-safe-under-carbon-tax)

The two biggest insults of all:

Green energy will increase in tandem, too – simply because it can: they have a far wider berth to now charge consumers more while still looking an attractive alternative to paying tax for dirty power.

Besides, the companies who are being taxed for providing dirty energy, are the same ones who provide Green energy options. Think they won’t raise their own prices there too? Think again. This may have seemed a victory for the Greens, until you consider this fact, and the fact that imposing this tax system has cost the nation billions of dollars just to research and implement.

The second slap to the face is that the coal industry – the very industry that pollutes the most – will be heavily compensated. In fact, Wayne Swan today assured that Australian coal exports and coal production is forecast to double over the next 40 years.

What does all this says to me?

Why bother living an energy-efficient life? Regardless of how green-conscious you are, you will still be forced to pay financially for companies I don’t even use. While if you’re a pensioner or on welfare (the majority of the nation) then you don’t have to live a Green life, says the Government.

Thankfully, I’m not the only one who realises this. But realise it or not, you are powerless. Think you’ll vote Liberal next election? Just watch them swing the Carbon Tax into the sights of the poorer Australians, lower the tax-free threshold and give tax breaks to big business. The age-old behaviours of both parties are still there, my friends. Do not forget that.

Most News.com.au readers are more likely to vote Coalition, believe climate change is a myth, and think the Carbon tax is disgraceful. Actually, I would discount that climate change is a myth one. There really should be better alternatives to choose from there. For example, "No, we are being taxed anyway, regardless of what we do as individuals".

UPDATE:

We had some very informative knowledge imparted by an Australian Atmospheric and Climate Scientist who has worked directly with businesses on modelling their carbon pass. Below is what he has to say on the matter:

I work in this industry everyday dealing with large corporations and SMEs. I have worked with large corporations modelling the carbon pass and at $23 per tonne its pretty much fuck all. Unfortunately we live in a world where the majority of people would rather spend their money on iPhones and fancy restaurants. The tax is meant to act as an incentive to drive cuts in pollution. The corporations that adapt quickly and move to clean tech will have whats called “competitive advantage” in the market place. Here is a concise YouTube video that explains how this works, for anybody still in doubt:

The Carbon Tax: An Animated Explanation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Of8yBmq6lP8

Q: Why is the carbon price $23 per tonne, if this is “fuck all” for businesses?

A: If the carbon price was set any higher, it would be thrown out, as people who don’t fully understand the issue would think their pockets are being hit too hard. You have to keep in mind this is planning for the long-term. Cuts aren’t going to be immediate. At the end of the day we have to start somewhere. Yes, there is a cost. The people who will be paying are the ones that have more than enough money. The same people who control the media. At the end of the day its the rich who will pay and so they should.

Q: What good is a carbon tax if we are exporting more coal?

Yes, exporting coal is a problem and I agree that we should move towards exporting less. But what most people fail to see is that this is only one step we are taking in the direction we need to head. It’s strange that people just don’t see the bigger picture. There is a consensus among the scientific community and public that climate change is like cancer, something that has an impending doom unless you cut the shit out. Now, you tell me, if you had cancer, would you pay the price to have something done about it or would you just go on living knowing the outcome?

Personally, I am not naive enough to think that destroying our coal industry and making cars unaffordable to run is the solution either. So looking at it from the above perspective, if we exempt coal and petrol for now, while over the next 40 years reduce our reliance on these fuels (at least in Australia) then we will be able to tax these things until they are down to zero usage (the way we are doing with cigarettes) in the future without destroying the economy overnight. I hereby withdraw my stance on the carbon tax being completely bullshit.

Meanwhile, China and India can continue to thrive off importing coal until they destroy the entire planet.

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Categories: Business, Politics, Law

Author:Andrew Beato

CEO, Chief Editor and founder of Intentious. Passionate comment enthusiast, amateur philosopher, Quora contributor, audiobook and general knowledge addict.

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4 Comments on “It’s official: Gillard’s Carbon Tax is legitimately bullshit”

  1. July 11, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

    I have to say this topic frustrates me. Everyone time I try to have a balanced discussion it doesn’t work. For example as soon as you ask, “What about this assertion that climate change is driven by human intervention is a myth? Isn’t that an important topic to discuss first?” one gets labelled as an extremist, life-hating ignoramus. You’re not allowed to question environmental science or the nature of climate change without being attacked and most people assuming you’re wrong when they themselves don’t understand climate-science. I hear people saying to me all the time, “most scientists agree” or “the scientific consensus is” but these are almost meaningless appeals to authorities. I’m a scientist myself but this idea that scientists are infallible is just not helpful in a discussion about a serious issue. I don’t mind a carbon tax so long as I can see a direct link to a solution to the problem and as far as I know we don’t know enough about climate change to know if we’re actually fixing anything.

    What if we found out that increased carbon-dioxide was offsetting the effects of climate change? Think that’s ridiculous? Then read this entry on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_dimming

    ^ The problem is probably worse than we realise but ironically the crap we’ve released into the atmosphere is buying us time so reducing CO2 might make the situation even worse!

    (I’ve also got an article about this in the pipeworks, subscribe to Intentious.com to read more when it is finished!)

  2. July 12, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    In the last few days, I’ve heard a surprising amount of often vitriolic, overly passionate talk on both sides of this debate, surprising given the lack of written comment response to this piece. It’s clearly being read by a lot of people, I wonder what is keeping them from voicing their view?

    My personal thoughts, summarised, are that

    a) yes, we need a carbon tax or ETS of some sort.

    b) It is ridiculous that the world’s highest or 2nd highest polluter per head of population, ie: Australia, would be passive on emissions laws in the 21st century.

    c) I welcome raising the tax-free threshold, who the hell doesn’t. People don’t seem to realise that this is nothing to do with the Carbon Tax. The current tax-free threshold of $6000 is laughably outdated, it has been left to squalor in inflation since the year 2000. My source is the ATO: http://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/content.aspx?doc=/content/73969.htm
    With the immense inflation in the housing sector, petrol and automobile sector we’ve experienced entirely within the last decade, raising the tax-free threshold to something more realistic was inevitable regardless of a carbon tax.

    d) Supporters of the carbon tax fail to recognise that just because Australia might not burn the carbon here, doesn’t mean anything if we counter it by doubling our exported coal to burn elsewhere. Net pollution remains constant if not more thanks to the other side of this carbon deal with the coal industry. Doubling coal production could not work if we didn’t have this carbon tax. Instead, Australians would be using the cheap coal for ourselves. By shifting Australians away from using coal, we can dump all our coal on China and India. What the hell is that going to do for the environment? Basically it makes Australia look good at first glance but anyone who takes export policy into consideration will realise we are still going to be the world’s number one polluter through enabling nations to burn coal.

    e) Petrol is exempt, meaning that from 2012-2015, the cost of driving a car will remain steady, increasing at the same rate, while public transport costs will ramp 1.5 to 2 times what they are now. This will drive people away from using the very technologies that use less greenhouse gasses. Idiots obviously don’t understand what is involved in replacing an entire fleet and the nation’s entire rail infrastructure with green power (or airlines for that matter!). The drop in people using transport would cost these companies millions each year, sure. But it is still not enough of an incentive to spend billions upon billions upon billions trying to “go green”. A much easier model is to pass on the cost to consumers, permanently. In fact, rail systems will be under less pressure than they currently are, so they probably welcome some relief to the swelling numbers using them. How this helps the environment is beyond me. I’ve been called too dumb to see the full picture over the next 30-40 years but clearly others are too dumb to see the international disgrace we will be in 10 years time: a nation getting rich off exporting coal, where cars cost less to run than catching the train.

    f) So what do I think is the solution? Well I’m not an economist. But a model that includes coal and petrol would be the obvious choice if we were actually serious about dropping emissions instead of just appearing to use less internally as a nation. I can only hope that over the next 40 years, it is China and India who head the way and cut their imports of our dirty fuel. Anyone care to comment on the likelihood of that happening?

  3. john neeting
    July 25, 2011 at 12:32 am #

    why don’t you google ‘carbon tax bullshit’ then go to ‘thadeus-sez.blog spot’ he has nearly everything there is written in the last post – it’s 96 pages long but if your REALLY serious about knowing why the carbon tax is just that ‘bullshit’ then do your brain a favour and read every bloody page of it. NOW tell me the carbon tax aint’ bullshit !

    • July 25, 2011 at 9:43 am #

      Preaching to the converted 😉 although I appreciate the link and the comment. Please share this site with your social networks.

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