The big gamble

The multi-party climate committee’s decision to place a starting price of $23 per tonne on carbon dioxide is nothing short of gutsy. While the Greens and independent MPs may be held marginally responsible at the next election, the Australian Labor Party (ALP) will be the one feeling the wrath of the Australian voter.

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The multi-party climate committee’s decision to place a starting price of $23 per tonne on carbon dioxide is nothing short of gutsy. While the Greens and independent MPs may be held marginally responsible at the next election, the Australian Labor Party (ALP) will be the one feeling the wrath of the Australian voter.

Treasury has projected that, due to the carbon tax, cost of living will increase by 0.7 per cent and electricity bills by 10 per cent, with 60 per cent of households being fully/over compensated for the initial cost increase and 30 per cent partially compensated. Interestingly, assistance payments start this week even though the impact of the carbon tax is not expected to be felt for a few months.

The Labor Party seems to be as worried about how the carbon tax will affect its popularity, as the Coalition was when introducing Work Choices. Labor is expected to spend $36 million over the next two years to promote the assistance package which is squarely aimed at reducing the carbon tax’s negative impact on their popularity. The first of the ads promoting the assistance packages, but failing to mention its carbon tax, have already started broadcasting on national television. We can expect the phrase 'carbon tax' to not be mentioned or acknowledged by the ALP going forward.

The carbon tax will be the key negative issue for the ALP going into the next Federal Election and you can expect the Coalition to campaign strongly on this Labor policy back flip and the financial impact of the tax.

Will the carbon tax ultimately decide the ALP's fate at the next Federal Election?





    COMMENTS

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    ozimarco
    17th May 2012
    12:52pm
    Hopefully for Labor, by the time the election comes around, enough people will realise that putting a price on carbon is a good policy for Australia going forward, cheaper and more effective than the Coalition's direct action policy, which will have to be funded by the taxpayer. They will also realise the sky hasn't fallen in, the economy is still healthy, people are still in work, etc.
    cbs51
    17th May 2012
    1:45pm
    I agree with ozimarco. There was a news item this morning that reported measurements made over the last 50 years in Australia, measuring climate change. Climate change is real and could be disastrous for future generations. We have to do something now. People are taking the short sighted view of what impact it will have on their hip pocket in the short term - and this is being fuelled by some political parties, mining magnates and the media. There is the huge potential for growth out of this initiative, in providing new jobs in science, production, and sustainable energy industries. Unfortunately, the media does not report these.
    I say that we can't afford NOT to have this tax.
    pate
    17th May 2012
    2:44pm
    I agree that we cannot put blinkers on when it comes to pricing carbon out of our country as much as the coal burning gurus may think it is wrong, It is time our electricity makers got a wake up call only it should have happened years ago, my husband worked for the Electricity Commission and has been saying for years that it did not have too many years left in the system as it was. Remember what N.Z. went through some 15 years ago? Lots of money needed to be spent on the worn out, coal burning electricity makers now they have to think again. At least ours will be a once only money spending nuisance if it is done right the first time.
    wscifers
    17th May 2012
    3:57pm
    Do you mean going forward over the precipice? A few questions appear to be glossed over here. What proportion of carbon pollution does Australia produce compared to the world's total of carbon pollution? Will Australia's carbon tax make a difference in the world total amount of carbon pollution produced? How are people on fixed incomes, especially pensioners, going to cope with the inflationary price rises such a tax will cause companies paying the carbon tax upfront pass on to their customers and ultimately to the working families Julia is so keen to pacify. Glad to see that we will be "compensated" for the impost of the tax on rising expenses like utilities, food, fuel and even rent. But will it be enough to let the working poor keep their noses above water? Wait and see.
    doclisa
    17th May 2012
    5:42pm
    It really does not matter about the proportion of pollution is up to us, it can be measured in so many ways, percapita we are among the highest polluters. Not all Europe is at $20 a tonne, Scandinavian Countries are at about $56 a tonne, and other more.
    I agree this is a tax we cannot afford not to have. Plus in view of the comments most of us are aware that we need to help turn the tide, or the planet will be not much chop for our grandchildren. Re the working situation and working families. Many people work, not just families and Australia is relatively wealthy. If we just share the wealth we have, instead of letting the top 5 % have 70% of the dosh. The thing none seems to comment on is that the tax free threshold has gone from $6,000 to $18,200 in this budget. That should help genuine low-income earners, and incrementally everyone else going up the ladder. Not being taxed til you can at least feed yourself is a good thing. It will help close the gap.
    Also should we be building new coal ports up and down the queensland coast and in the Barrier Reef, at taxpayer expense, so that Clive and Gina can keep shipping our valuable dirt to China to make themselves rich and the planet and Australia poor. We have a wonderful wonderful country we need to look at it better and try and leave it in better condition than we found it!
    pate
    18th May 2012
    3:03pm
    Our pollution is only part of a big problem adnittedly but if we don't start it who is going to continue even Canada whose electricity does not use the coal that we do are now joining forces with us in trying to save what they have. America is starting to learn that they don't own all of the wold's oil and discovering other methods of powering their cars of which they are about the keenest owners on earth These are facts that I am aware of.
    Bluebell
    18th May 2012
    9:44pm
    I know this isn't the right link and I obviously missed reading it.
    Drew.....How did living on the low budget go ???


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