On Sunday 1 July 2012, the Labor/Green government’s carbon tax of $23 per tonne will finally take effect in Australia.
We’ve heard all the usual spin from Greg Combet about how other countries are taking similar action and Australia must “catch up”. It’s all bullshit as anyone with half a brain could work out. Unfortunately, Combet and Gillard and their Green mates don’t have half a brain between them, so they can’t work it out. In any case, it’s all Green blackmail anyway, to keep Gillard in power.
Coming at a time when:
- the European economy could collapse at any moment thanks to any number of bankrupt states teetering on the brink of default,
- economic confidence in the US is low, and
- our own resources-run economy is feeling the pinch from decreased demand from China (even ignoring the punishing mining tax),
to legislate what is essentially the world’s highest carbon tax, when European carbon prices have been falling like a stone, and now stand around $10, is pure climate madness – and what originally gave this blog its name back in 2008.
And of course, it will do NOTHING for the climate. Our emissions will actually rise. And China and India’s emissions will rise several orders of magnitude more than any notional reduction here in Australia for decades to come.
Gillard believes that when the tax comes into effect, people won’t notice and she can crow “See, it wasn’t so bad after all!” Some hope. Electricity prices are already set to rise 18 – 20% next year and the additional costs of paying the tax will inevitably be passed on to consumers (or suppliers, who will eventually pass it on to consumers anyway). Prices of virtually everything will rise despite the almost childishly simplistic refrain of “it’s only the top 500 polluters who pay”. Yes, and who pays them?
The cost of living here in Australia is going through the roof and the economy is already stagnant. Uncertainty about a second GFC is forcing Australian families all over the country to tighten their belts, slash discretionary spending and sit tight in their bunkers until the next election, which they hope will deliver a majority government capable of action.
Thanks to the carbon tax, the next 15 months will be even worse than that. I foresee the economy shrinking, retailers going under, businesses failing and unemployment rising. The housing market will shrink and families will be stuck in the negative equity trap. There can be no other outcome.
The so-called “green economy” is a myth. It survives on a life support system of generous government handouts. Withdraw the feeding tube and death rapidly follows. Only when such alternative energies become genuinely competitive will they be able to survive without government crutches. It is not the panacea that will see us through this crisis.
We can only hope that something forces an early election and this pointless and damaging tax can be removed as soon as possible thereafter. Otherwise, we’re stuck with it until at least the second half of 2013, by which time, the Australian economy may be too broken to be saved – and it may take generations of hard times foisted upon our, quote, “children and grandchildren” to restore it.