Business demands carbon tax be slashed

Australia's economy post 1 July

Even businesses supportive of the carbon tax in principle are beginning to tremble at the prospect. At the government’s set rate of $23 per tonne, it is way above anything else anywhere in the world, and will send Australia’s economy into a tailspin at a time of global financial uncertainty.

KEY business backers of carbon pricing have called on the government to amend the carbon tax legislation to cut the price from $23 a tonne of carbon emissions to close to the European price of about $10, warning that the difference amounts to a “tax on industry” and will hit competitiveness.

The outgoing head of the Australian Industry Group, Heather Ridout, who this week took up her seat on the Reserve Bank board, warned that industries slugged by the high dollar could “ill afford” to pay the $23 a tonne slated to take effect from July 1, when other international prices were less than half that.

She said the gap between the legislated Australian price and international prices represented “a tax on industry, and I think it’s not what it was meant to be”.

Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott called for the $23 a tonne price to be scrapped, and the price set at $10.

“It is clear there is a substantial gap between the international permit price and the starting price in our fixed-price period, and this is a concern for the competitiveness of Australia’s industries and the impact this might have on our economy,” she said.

The two comments came after economists Judith Sloan and Warwick McKibbin called this week for the government to lower the rate of the carbon tax.

“A figure of $10 a tonne would be closer to the mark,” Professor Sloan wrote in The Australian on Tuesday.

Her comments were echoed by Professor McKibbin, a former Reserve Bank board member, who said: “It is in Australia’s national interest to have the price of carbon on July 1 this year starting at closer to $10 per tonne.”

So as this is a sensible, responsible government, they will no doubt take the concerns of business into account? Er, not a chance:

Wayne Swan, asked yesterday whether the government would reopen the carbon package after Professor McKibbin’s call for a $10-a-tonne price, said: “No.”

Yes, the government continually insists on signing its own death warrant – over and over again.

Read it here.


  1. Trev Meldrum via Facebook says:

    This government will realise they’ve stuffed up yet again when it’s all too late and we are left with an economy left in tatters after we lose our competitive edge in global markets. When no-one wants our expensive post carbon tax exports, when our unemployment rate has gone through the roof as businesses cut their losses and shut up shop. But NO it won’t be their fault they got it wrong again.

  2. I haven’t been following the carbon tax debate much, but I find it ironic to see these so-called business leaders calling for a lower price on carbon dioxide. Maybe these people made their objections clear ahead of the legislation and I missed it, in which case I apologise. Maybe these same people didn’t want to upset the potential for government influence prior to the legislation, but now, like a pack of sharks smelling the blood of a dying Labor party, they want the legislation changed. Seems too late to stand up now and try and loudly claim the high ground when they were hiding quietly in the corner not even a year ago.

    • QLD Sceptic says:

      Tony, if you had been following the carbon tax policy, you would know that there has been considerable opposition to the carbon tax. The manufacturing industries have been at the front of that opposition, with even the unions making noises. So much so, Julia Gillard promised no jobs would be lost. (How she expects either us to believe that, or to keep that promise is beyond me).

      The carbon tax is a political project, pure and simple. It will not reduce Australian CO2 emmissions, it will, at best, make Australian industries less competitive and it will hurt all Australians in the pocket. Even with government rebates, do not be surprised when electricity price increases reduce peoples incomes when price rises exceed that government compensation. It will almost certainly cause people to lose their jobs. What it will not do is be followed by other countries, or have an impact towards reducing CO2 emmissions internationally.

      On a positive note, it will please the latte set and any tree huggers. So that will be alright then!

  3. The tax on Co2, will destroy Australian business, both medium and small, this government knows this and is following the plan by the UN, who are hell bent on the nations of earth becoming socialist states under the control of those who pull the strings, ie the zionist bankers, taxing a harmless trace gas has to be the biggest con ever on mankind, reports are out saying that the temp on earth has not changed significly n 32 years, the climate of this planet is continually changing and has done since creation, and always will, the activity of solar flares and sunspots has more effect on our weather and climate than co2, we all were told that plants require this gas for life, and in turn give us oxygen which we need for our life, at least one Pm had things right, Bob Hawke wanted to plant millions of trees, now how is this for a practial scenario, this government instead of taxing us makes it possible for every citizen to be given say three trees to plant, that equates to around sixty nine million trees, which will absorb Co2 and give us our life sustaining oxygen, But then that would not destroy this great country and make it a socialist backwater would it?

  4. Stuart Anderson via Facebook says:

    Tony wants to plant trees but Labor cronies call him an idiot.

  5. There is a serious void at may levels about Carbon CO2 and a tax. I was the only Australian to sit in on all UNCTAD UNFCCC assemblies from 96-01 help write protocols that would lower CO2e without impact upon national economies and business. There is no non polluting energy in full carbon accounting terms on the horizon. What is seriously needed is a full comprehension about the stalled carbon cycle and how to lower CO2e. Trees take carbon from soil wind solar that 14 yrs to pay back CO2 emissions in a 15yr life cycle. Australia can lower global CO2 the income will fund deserts to grow soil food fodder employ unemployed and new arrivals. With a well Planned CO2 sequestration programme that I have installed in PRC past 6 yrs Australia could via carbon trading today offset Industry emissions meet without reservation the UNFCCC 100 yr rule and business as usual the addition profits fund development of known non polluting energy. There needs to be an apolitical approach to capture this business opportunity and more education among agencies preporting their views. Robert Vincin see Google

    • AndyG55 says:

      CO2 is NOT POLLUTION !!!!!!!!

      Increased CO2 levels are highly beneficial to plant growth.

  6. @ Stuart, then they must class Bob Hawke as an idiot also, funny how they always put him on a pedestal,

  7. Ray Anderson via Facebook says:

    It is the goal of all Marxists to lead the population into poverty. At that point everyone is beholden to the benevolence of the “dear leader”.

  8. Luke Warm says:

    Business should be calling for the tax to be scrapped altogether on the basis that CAGW is a hoax, a con and a fraud. What is wrong with our business leaders?

  9. couple of ABC incidents to make you laugh/weep

  10. Regarding the floods an ABC ‘journalist’ said…this rainfall event is ‘unprecedented’ the river has risen and is now spreading out across the ‘flood plain’.!!!

  11. On another occasion another ABC journalist was discussing the threatened closure of an aluminium smelter. He said there were TWO main reasons for this; one, the high australian dollar, and two a global oversupply of aluminium…of course aluminium smelting uses a lot of energy which will be more expensive after the Carbon Tax but…ssssh. It is the ABC after all.

  12. It’s the debt,stupid. This labor government has no money left, that is the reason for this vacuous impost on industry. We know CO2 is harmless, does not increase earth’s temperature, melt the ice or make the oceans ‘acidic’ – whatever that means – but they DESPERATELY need MONEY, MONEY, MONEY. We don’t have to wait until July 1 for this nation to become a laughing stock, it already is. I bet this Labor mob are praying that they get voted out next election. In an earlier age, if a government or leader led a nation to poverty and bankruptcy, heads would roll. Perhaps the return of the guillotine?

    • Tony O'Neill says:

      If these clowns in the Gillard-Brown gov had ALL our money, they would still p*ss it up against a wall. There simply isn’t enough for them.
      ps the guillotine would be too quick.

  13. I agree with Tony. These business leaders were missing in action when the real fight should have been waged about any carbon tax at all. Now it’s hard to feel sorry for them when they’re trying to get it down from $23 to $10.

    As for the government, I’m sick of hearing them arguing ‘black is white’ for the past several years. The AGW group-think is falling apart at the seams due to a total lack of credible evidence. The world is by-and-large not moving to impose a ‘price on caaarrrbon’. Australia is made out to look like the biggest bunch of dills by hamstringing our own industry, so Jules and Wayne can piss more of our money up against the wall. Election NOW!

    • Tony O'Neill says:

      I agree with Rod W & the other Tony. The main arguments against the carbon tax came from us little guys and the National Party (they know bullsh*t when they see/step in it).

      I think Big Business was simply going to pass it on as another “cost plus” exercise, and are now just realising what an expensive crock/scam CAGW really is – and is going to hit their bottom lines big-time.

      If all Big Business had come out strongly against it, they could have stopped the carbon (dioxide) tax.

  14. Baldrick says:

    Current EU carbon market as at 7.3.12 – €8.61 (A$10.68).

    How can Australian manufacturers compete, having to pay an initial $23 per tonne of carbon dioxide for 2012 + 2.5% above inflation for the following 3 years? Madness!

  15. Years of self delusion, blind hatred and stupidity from this rabble.

    I can’t wait until the next election…

  16. I sat on the UNCTAD UNFCCC emission trading forums 96-01 helping write the policy so that Nations and businesses would not be impacted by a savage tax. Well planned Australia could actually sequester CO2 and via global carbon trading via official UNFCCC reporting as there is no soil Australian carbon ssoil methodogy developed for our wide array of soil so we use UNFCCC rules. Carbon trading can generate serious income so as not to burden Industry and people but set asside money to perfect known non polluting energy. Wind solar in carbon accounting terms take 14 tears to pay back CO2 emissions material fabrication transport erection operation hook to grid and disposal in 25yr maximum life. Trees are a source of CO2 not a sink. What is most desperately needed in science and fact into all level of decision making is education and eleminate the “I think” decision /public comments
    A 12.3 minute presentation would change Australian leaders and lay public to understand the opportunity Climate change offers.
    Without prejudice Robert Vincin see Google

  17. To AndyG55 March 9, 2012 at 7:09 am
    CO2 is NOT POLLUTION !!!!!!!!

    Increased CO2 levels are highly beneficial to plant growth
    94-96% of plants on earth take Carbon from the soil including trees rice cotton most grain vegetables grasses. If they take in CO2 during the day they exhail during night (try night glasses) see the differnce between the 94% andthe 4-6%. Too much CO2 like a diver with too much oxygen they will suffer. During mass volcanic events and mass CO2 most living matter died. It was the 4% of plant in time cleaned the atmosphere. Time as come to research science fact not heresay green guess work “I think this is an answer Folk”
    If Man cannot live in CO2 environment most other living matter will not
    Without prejudice Robert Vincin see Google

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