Few voters taken in by carbon tax bribe


Slightly less bad

It appears that a few Australians have fallen for the carbon tax propaganda over the last couple of weeks, lifting support for Labor by a couple of points. I guess that was inevitable: a small number of wavering voters were waiting for soothing words from the Government, and they got them. This isn’t the massive bounce Labor needs to get back into contention, that’s for sure:

VOTERS have warmed slightly to the carbon tax after two weeks of Julia Gillard wearing out her shoe leather selling the plan’s compensation package across Australia.

Support for the carbon tax rose six percentage points to 36 per cent, after sitting at 30 per cent for almost three months, according to the latest Newspoll survey.

The Newspoll, conducted last weekend exclusively for The Australian, found opposition to the carbon tax fell from 59 per cent to 53 per cent amid a government advertising campaign.

This is the first major poll since the $15 billion package was announced that has shown any improvement for the Gillard government.

Voters still overwhelmingly oppose the tax, but a shift in sentiment among men and young people, who were previously the least impressed with it, has offered some hope to the besieged Prime Minister.

Labor’s electoral support and attitudes to Ms Gillard have lifted slightly from historically low levels in the past two weeks, but there is no real statistical improvement overall. Dissatisfaction with the Prime Minister’s performance remains unchanged at a record high. (source)

And now the unions are forming an unlikely alliance with big business in opposing the tax:

ONE of the nation’s biggest trade unions has turned on the Gillard government, savaging Workplace Relations Minister Chris Evans as incompetent and unworthy of his office.

Days after strident criticism of the government by business leaders, Transport Workers Union national secretary Tony Sheldon yesterday likened Senator Evans to a corpse, accusing him of failing to implement Labor policy and endangering the lives of truck drivers.

The condemnation, rejected by Senator Evans, came as a trio of senior ministers dismissed a claim by Suncorp chairman-elect Ziggy Switkowski that there was ” a whiff of illegitimacy” about the government.

While the government has anticipated attacks from businesses affected by the [carbon dioxide] tax, it was blind sided by Mr Sheldon’s assault, based on the fact the impost — which he on Friday called a “death tax” — will apply to the heavy transport industry from 2014.

Mr Sheldon, whose 90,000- member union represents truck drivers, wants the government to prevent trucking companies from passing the cost impact to drivers and owner-drivers. The TWU argues that passing on the costs to drivers will lift stress and drive up accident and fatality rates on roads, not just for truck drivers, but also for all motorists. (source)

It gets worse: Labor 39 – Coalition 61


We're not laughing…

Could it get any worse? Apparently, yes. It’s like watching an aged relative die a slow and painful death. The time has come for Labor backbenchers to put this government out of its misery, show that they still have some principles, and withdraw support.

It won’t happen of course, because they are all driven by petty self-interest rather than what is best for the country, but it’s a nice thought:

THE government has flatlined, personal support for Julia Gillard has plunged and Tony Abbott is by far the nation’s favoured leader, according to the first comprehensive national poll taken since the release of the carbon price policy.

After a week of fevered campaigning by both leaders, the Herald/Nielsen poll shows Labor’s primary vote has hit a new record low of 26 per cent while Mr Abbott has opened up an 11-percentage point lead on Ms Gillard as the preferred prime minister.

And despite the generous compensation package accompanying the carbon price, 53 per cent of voters feel they will be worse off.

Previous low levels of support for the policy have not changed, with 39 per cent backing the package and 52 per cent opposing it. More than half – 56 per cent – want a fresh election.

Although Ms Gillard had told the caucus not to expect any short-term rise in the polls after the release of the policy details, this poll was being watched closely by many MPs hoping for some positive response to the $15 billion compensation package.

The telephone poll of 1400 voters, taken from Thursday night to Saturday evening, shows Labor’s primary vote fell 1 point to 26 per cent since the last poll a month ago. The Coalition’s primary vote rose 2 points to 51 per cent, and the Greens fell 1 point to 11 per cent.

On a two-party-preferred basis, the Coalition leads by a thumping 61 per cent to 39 per cent, a 4-point rise in its lead in a month and an 11-point swing towards the opposition since the federal election in August.

While Labor’s vote stayed depressed, Ms Gillard’s personal rating plunged further and, for the first time, Mr Abbott is the preferred prime minister.

In the last poll, the Opposition Leader and Ms Gillard were tied at 46 per cent, but in this poll, Mr Abbott’s rating rose 5 points to 51 per cent while Ms Gillard’s fell 6 points to 40 per cent. (source)

Glenn Milne in The Australian analyses the fix Labor finds itself in:

The sullen rejection of the tax by ordinary voters, fed by the Opposition Leader’s furious onslaught and enabled by the government’s strategic blunder in announcing the tax without details, then leaving a political vacuum for months for the Coalition to fill, appears instead to have simply become embedded.

Gillard’s window of opportunity to dismantle Abbott’s campaign is fast closing, if it hasn’t already.

In a 24/7 media cycle attention has already begin to wane. By Saturday the carbon tax had been pushed off or down page one of the broadsheets. The tabloids had abandoned it. What dominated was Westpac’s prediction the next official interest rate move could be a cut. It’s now hard to see how Gillard re-engages on the issue, how she gets the interest back of voters who have already emphatically rejected the tax.

Ironically the interest rate story is probably a clue to her problems. In light of the threatened GFC aftershock in Europe and the US, which has helped drive a collapse in consumer confidence here, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that what the electorate wants is a government that will get our two-speed economy back on track. Instead Gillard’s solution is to load them up with a new tax.

One of the most important push factors behind this sentiment, surely, is the fact that even with this carbon tax Australia’s overall emissions won’t be reduced.

And that’s not even to go to the argument that our paltry contribution to cutting greenhouse gasses will still be overwhelmed by the unrestrained belching of the major emitters, the US, China and India.

Voters assess something is amiss here, leading to Abbott’s killer line last week: “What’s the point?” (source)

Read it all.

Poll: 60% oppose the carbon [dioxide] tax


Online poll result

In the first poll to be taken after Julia Gillard’s announcement of the carbon [dioxide] tax on Sunday, the message is clear:

AUSTRALIANS have given the carbon tax the thumbs down, with 68 per cent saying it will leave them worse off and 63 per cent calling for Julia Gillard to bring on an early election.

The exclusive Galaxy Poll for the Herald Sun – the first major survey since the release of the carbon tax package on Sunday – also found 60 per cent of voters opposed the tax, 29 per cent were in favour and 11 per cent undecided.

The nationwide telephone poll of 500 people conducted on Monday night suggests voters believe the personal cost of the carbon tax outweighs the environmental benefits. [When the environmental benefits are nil, any cost, no matter how small, outweighs them – Ed]

Voters have not accepted Ms Gillard’s promise that more than six out of 10 households would be fully compensated or better off after compensation for the rise in the cost of living.

Only 10 per cent of voters said they would be better off and only 28 per cent believe Ms Gillard has a mandate to introduce the tax without holding another election.

The poll reveals 62 per cent of people think the Greens, who negotiated the package with Labor and the independents, have too much influence over the Government, while 30 per cent say the Greens are working effectively.

It finds 81 per cent believe the carbon tax will have little or no impact on the environment and 67 per cent believe it will be bad for the economy compared with 22 per cent who think it will be good. (source)

What do the other 19% think the carbon tax will do, I wonder? And another online poll shows much the same (see image).

Labor are heading for a massive hiding at the next election, all because Gillard was so desperate to stay in power that she sold her soul and that of the party to the environmental extremists. The (Green) chickens are coming home to roost.

Labor's support in free-fall


Gillard on Q&A

And this is before the carbon tax was announced:

LABOR’S support has slumped to a record low, with the Coalition sitting at all-time highs as Tony Abbott extends his lead as preferred prime minister over Julia Gillard.

In the two-week lead-up to Sunday’s announcement of the carbon tax details, Labor’s primary vote fell three percentage points to a record low of 27 per cent, while the Coalition’s support rose three points to 49 per cent for its highest primary vote since the Howard government in October 2001.

Even with a steady Greens vote of 12 per cent favouring Labor on preferences, the Coalition recorded its highest two-party-preferred vote of 58 per cent and the ALP its lowest of 42 per cent based on preference flows at the August election last year. The Coalition’s two-party-preferred vote is the second biggest in Newspoll history, with the previous record of 63 per cent to 37 per cent set by Kevin Rudd’s Labor government during its honeymoon period in early 2008 over the Brendan Nelson-led Coalition.

All the gory details are here.

I forced myself to watch Gillard’s address to the nation, but I refuse to watch Q&A – an audience stacked with lefties, a left leaning panel and a lefty presenter (Tony Jones) makes it the media equivalent of a quick turn in the Colosseum for anyone even vaguely to the right of the far left. Here’s Andrew Bolt’s take on Gillard’s solo performance last night:

On Q&A last night, Julia Gillard:

  • dodged a question about her duty to seek an electoral mandate first before imposing this huge, risky and controversial tax.
  • dodged again a question on how her tax would affect the climate, and whether the effect was so small as to not be worth the effort.
  • again adopted her fatally patronising pitch, even suggesting we should be embarrassed at being beaten by those pesky New Zealanders who had (a very small) emissions trading scheme already. (“Just joking,” she trilled.)
  • got picked up even by warmist Tony Jones on her deceit at pretending China was cutting its emissions, when it is actually replacing small coal-fired power stations with huge ones, sending total emissions soaring.
  • was appealed to by a believer who captured the conceit of both of them by begging Gillard to use “simple” language so her “dear old mum” could be persuaded.
  • repeatedly used the deceit of calling carbon dioxide “pollution” without once being corrected by Jones.
  • twice dodges an invitation to debate Tony Abbott on the science of global warming.
  • again falsely claimed Margaret Thatcher backed what she was doing.

Gillard also claims there’s not enough respect for “the scientists”. Like this one?

Ah yes, but according to Gillard, there should only be respect for the scientists that agree with Labor’s policy. All the others are just filthy deniers funded by Big Oil. Surely you must have grasped this by now…

Carbon tax a "brazen fraud"


Bad for Gillard

Andrew Bolt’s column on the carbon tax announcement sums up the frustration and disenfranchisement many of us are feeling this morning:

JULIA Gillard’s carbon tax is the most brazen fraud perpetrated by an Australian government.

Warming believers should be outraged that the tax is so useless. Sceptics should be outraged it’s so pointless.

It offends the intelligence of everyone and threatens the jobs of thousands.

For nothing.

The Prime Minister yesterday claimed “the science is in” and man’s gasses were heating the planet dangerously.

But not even Gillard dares to claim that the tax she’s finally unveiled will stop any of that warming, or change the climate in any way – because it won’t. It can’t. (source)

News.com.au runs a poll on the carbon tax, and the results aren’t pretty. However, GetUp has obviously been mobilised to vote on this, as the results are far less dramatic than they were yesterday evening, but they are still damning (see graphic):

ANGRY Australians have vowed to vote Julia Gillard from office at the next election after today’s controversial carbon tax announcement.

Scores of voters rejected the plan soon after details of the $24.5 billion package to tackle climate change were revealed, with more than 80 per cent who voted in a national online poll saying Australia shouldn’t have a carbon tax.

Almost 100,000 votes were cast by more than 25,000 people across four polls in News Limited’s “Carbon Tax Plebiscite”, with 87.1 per cent saying they planned to change their vote at the next election in light of the tax.

More than 70 per cent of voters, or 15,866 people, said they now planned to vote for the Coalition at the next election while just 8.51 per cent said they would support a Labor government.

Just 13 per cent of voters said they wouldn’t change their vote at the next election. (source – vote at the link)

Industry is unimpressed:

CANBERRA’S grand carbon tax reform package will only raise the growing alarm in the business community that the Gillard government just doesn’t understand the meaning of the bottom line or the pressures facing industry and the economy.

It will be hard enough to convince highly sceptical voters that the carbon tax is an important economic and environmental reform that won’t leave most of their budgets worse off.

But most of the business community, already coping with massive structural changes, will be even less persuaded that this scheme has merit, let alone that it deserves the title of major reform. The $23 a tonne tax is high enough to increase costs on business but not sufficiently high to do what the government promises it will — drive substantial change in energy use, provide investment certainty or reduce global warming.

What it does produce is the churning of billions of dollars in and out of Canberra, intrusive and inefficient regulation and a (hopefully) modest drag on economic growth just when the non-mining sector feels so weighed down. (source)

Tim Blair takes Gillard’s address to pieces:

“Most Australians now agree our climate is changing, this is caused by carbon pollution, this has harmful effects on our environment and on the economy and the government should act.”

Most Australians don’t want a carbon tax.

“The first Australian government to announce a plan for a carbon price was John Howard’s back in 2007.”

And look where it got him. And Kevin Rudd. And Malcolm Turnbull. Gillard is shooting for a climate change four-peat.

“A lot has happened since then; the debate has been difficult and divisive. But we have now had the debate – 2011 is the year we decide that as a nation we want a clean energy future.”

Whoa! The debate is over now? The Prime Minister’s powers evidently now extend to public opinion.

Frankly, she could do with a little more practice on her own cabinet first.

“Now is the time to move from words to deeds.”

Several words from which the Prime Minister dearly wishes we could move: “There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead.”

That sentence didn’t survive as fact for even one year. (source)

Jo Nova:

“Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.” Henning Webb Prentis, Jr., President of the Armstrong Cork Company 1943

The quoted passage from Prentis is known as “the fatal sequence”, and the only good news is that we don’t have to stay on the road to bondage. The message about the real science and economics is spreading from BBQ to BBQ, dinner to dinner, through letters to the editors, and through phone calls to radio stations. Information is our friend, and when it comes down to it, we can do it without the lamestream media, and the ABC. They can rubber-stamp the government PR, and union sponsored activists can try to cancel speeches that might reveal the truth, but these distant messengers don’t come between family and friends.

Word-of-mouth spreads the story with an exponential growth curve. There’s a one way stream of people leaving the “carbon faith” and shifting to skepticism, there’s  virtually no flow the other way.

Sooner or later the hard rock meets the immovable force and when 70% of the country know that the tax is a lie, based on deceit, wallowing in corruption and plastered with vested interests it will be all over — all over for the tax, all over for Labor Party credibility, all over for the witchdoctors who think they can change the weather. (source)

Letter from Viv Forbes:

Carbon Tax Mark 4 is flimsy but dangerous.

Because of public opposition to a new tax on everything, the tax has been gutted. The PM hopes to buy public support by giving exemptions to almost everyone and offering widespread bribes to voters. It is now feeble and ineffective.

But the Green-Gillard coalition is desperate and such people cannot be trusted. They will say or promise anything in order to get this new tax introduced.

Once on the law books, the exemptions will be whittled away, the tax rate will increase and the tax bribes will disappear. It is a stealthy cancer in the gut of the Australian economy.

The cost of electricity, food, fuel and travel will increase, but few people will recognise the root cause. Politicians will blame “Woolworths, power suppliers and Big Oil” for the pain.

This new stealth tax is the thin edge of the wedge.

It will have no effect on the climate, but is a fiscal weapon too dangerous to be left in the hands of green extremists.

Leaving Bob Brown loose with the vast powers of a carbon tax is like leaving the grandkids alone in the hayshed with a box of matches.

“Abolish the Stealth Tax” will be the next election slogan. (source)

As everyone now knows, the tax will do nothing for the climate, and even warmist Adam Morton from the Sydney Morning Herald acknowledges that fact. And points out what many commentators miss, namely that Australia will have to buy permits to reach even the modest target set for 2020:

ONCE you can get past the extraordinary compensation packages – some justifiable, others less so – the real test of the carbon price package is pretty basic: will it cut Australia’s carbon dioxide emissions?

Beyond that, will it set up the economy for potentially even deeper cuts down the track?

The answer to the first question is probably yes, though it depends on how you define a cut in emissions.

What does all this mean for emissions? It depends on your perspective. Treasury modelling suggests Australia’s emissions will rise slightly in the years ahead before starting to fall in a couple of decades.

They will quickly be significantly lower than they would be without a carbon price, or under most analyses of the Coalition’s ”direct action” policy. But it also means Australia will only reach its targets by buying international carbon permits – 101 million tonnes worth in 2020, and many more by 2050. (source)

With such lukewarm support from one of Gillard’s cheerleaders, it looks as though the tax will annoy everyone. Not enough to please the Greens, and too much for everyone else. And we hope voters have long, long memories.

Abbott overtakes Gillard as preferred PM


Ahead

It keeps getting worse for Julia Gillard and Labor. I wonder why? Is it possibly because she LIED about a carbon tax before the election, and now intends to introduce one without giving the electorate the chance to vote on her backflip? Just a crazy, wild guess. [UPDATE: or perhaps being compared to children who won’t eat their vegetables? How patronising can you get? – Ed]

JULIA Gillard has sunk below Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister for the first time and is now the most unpopular modern prime minister since Paul Keating at his worst.

Voter satisfaction with Ms Gillard has sunk to a record low, along with her support as Prime Minister against the Opposition Leader.

According to the latest Newspoll, conducted exclusively for The Australian, satisfaction with the Prime Minister last weekend was down two percentage points to 28 per cent, her lowest since becoming leader a year ago and a fall of 22 percentage points since she announced the carbon tax.

Dissatisfaction with Ms Gillard has leapt to a high of 62 per cent, up seven points in the past two weeks.

On the question of who would make the better prime minister, she slipped below Mr Abbott for the first time, after falling two points to 39 per cent as Mr Abbott’s support rose two points to 41 per cent.

On the first anniversary of the removal of Kevin Rudd as Labor leader and Ms Gillard’s first year as Prime Minister, the government’s primary vote has dropped to a record low for Labor of 30 per cent. The Coalition’s support remains at 46 per cent, with the Greens on a steady 11 per cent.

Based on second-preference flows at the last election, the Coalition has maintained its clear election-winning lead over Labor of 55 per cent to 45 per cent.

One thing’s for sure, the Australian electorate do not take kindly to being lied to.

Read it here.

Support for "climate action" falling fast


Sinking fast

The ABC reports this (through gritted teeth, naturally):

New research shows support for taking action on climate change is falling steeply.

The Lowy Institute’s annual poll asked about 1,000 people for their opinions on a range of topics, including climate change and the war in Afghanistan.

The poll shows that there has been a steep fall in the number of Australians who think climate change is a serious problem which needs addressing now.

It says 41 per cent of respondents want to see action even if it means a significant cost, down 27 percentage points since 2006.

Thirty-nine per cent of poll respondents said they would not be willing to pay anything extra on their electricity bill to help tackle climate change.

Read it here.

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