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)

Paul Howes backflips on Gillard's carbon tax

Folded like a pack of cards

What was he promised, I wonder?

THE head of Australia’s largest blue collar union yesterday provided a much-needed fillip for the Gillard government by endorsing its carbon tax.

The endorsement by the Australian Workers Union came just weeks after AWU national secretary Paul Howes vowed to oppose the impost if it cost a single worker’s job.

Mr Howes said in Sydney yesterday he had been mollified by the generous industry compensation package, particularly for the steel sector.

But Mr Howes, whose union represents about 135,000 workers, most of whom work in trade-exposed areas of the economy, said the government had done a less-than-stellar job of selling the controversial package.

“Look, it hasn’t been perfect, has it?” Mr Howes said of the government’s salesmanship.

“I mean, Blind Freddy can tell you that. But that’s their job. They’ll work it out.” (source)

Such touching faith in Labor’s abilities. He must be thinking of previous successes: BER, pink batts, er…

The reality is that the unions and Labor are joined at the hip, and despite all the tough talking, when the crunch comes, they collapse like a cheap accordion.

Unions, industry abandon Labor's carbon tax

Gillards' carbon tax plan…

The house of cards is beginning to topple. One by one, unions and industry are realising (finally, FINALLY) that a carbon tax is bad news all round – and for no benefit whatsoever. Yesterday it was Paul Howes of the Australian Workers Union. Today it is the turn of the big steel companies and various other unions:

Other unions yesterday piled in to back the AWU, including its traditional rival – the left-wing Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union – and the Transport Workers Union.

Ms Gillard plans to place a price on carbon from July next year as an interim step to a full carbon trading system within three to five years. The tax will apply to big polluters and the proceeds redistributed to consumers to help them cope with the effect on consumer prices.

Ministers played down the seriousness of Mr Howes’s intervention, describing it as a case of the union leader “talking to his constituency”. [And there we have the sheer breathtaking arrogance of the Labor government encapsulated for all to see. We are right, everyone else is wrong – Ed]

But his comments were welcomed at a meeting of AWU officials in Sydney, with some demanding tougher rhetoric.

Steel giants BlueScope and OneSteel also seized on Mr Howes’s comments to argue for special treatment of their industry, which employs more than 20,000 people and has been hit by the soaring value of the dollar.

BlueScope Steel chief executive Paul O’Malley said: “BlueScope and the AWU now both agree that a carbon tax would do irreparable damage to the Australian steel industry.”

OneSteel chief executive Geoff Plummer also declared there would be “no global environmental benefit” to impose a carbon tax on Australian steel when a similar tax was not imposed on direct overseas competitors. “We understand the point that Mr Howes is making is that to tax Australian industry is also to tax Australian jobs,” he said. (source)

This is great news. The fantasy universe I mentioned yesterday, which Labor inhabits, crumbles away, and we are left with grim reality. With the unions and industry pulling one way and the Greens pulling the other, Labor and its pointless carbon tax should tear itself apart.

But why has it taken so long?

Also read Dennis Shanahan here, and Terry McCrann’s excellent article: Producing CO2 is what we’re good at.

Greens "want higher carbon price"

Bunch of cynical ecotards

Of course they do. They don’t care about people not being able to pay their electricity bills, or living in excessive cold (or heat), or not being able to afford to buy groceries to feed their families. They don’t care about humanity full stop. They only care about “saving the planet”, so naturally, they want a carbon price as high as possible in order to shut down our economy to please Gaia. More evidence (should any be needed) that the Greens, being an extremist environmental advocacy group rather than a reputable political party, should never be trusted to ever hold any sway in the government of Australia.

THE Greens are pushing for a carbon tax starting price well above $20 as multiparty negotiations on climate change are set to restart on Tuesday.

The government is believed to be settling on a starting price of $20 a tonne of carbon emitted as its preferred position for its proposed carbon tax, which it hopes will start in July next year.

But The Age believes that the Greens, whose support Labor needs to establish the tax, are advocating a starting price well above that.

Greens senator Christine Milne said yesterday: “There has been no decision in the Multi-Party Climate Committee about the starting level for the pollution price, and any numbers in the public arena are nothing more than speculation.”

But in a glimmer of good news, Tony Windsor has stated that his support is not guaranteed:

Mr Windsor again cautioned the government yesterday that his support for a carbon tax was not a foregone conclusion.

“I have a vote, others do as well, so you can never guarantee something until it gets through a minority Parliament,” he said.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard sought to play down Mr Windsor’s comments [of course she did – Ed], saying “he does believe that pricing carbon is the best way, an important way, of tackling climate change. But for an individual legislative package, he’s going to look at the package and wait until the end and then judge.” (source)

I’m not holding my breath. Windsor has already betrayed his electorate by handing power to Labor after the last election, and I can see him folding like a house of cards on the carbon tax as well. More worrying for Labor is the possible threat of a union going feral:

Australia’s biggest manufacturing union has called on the government to urgently release details of its protection for industry and householders under a carbon tax, in the face of a growing workers’ revolt on the workshop floor, where union officials are being challenged and jeered for supporting Julia Gillard’s plan.

As Australian Workers Union national secretary Paul Howes prepared for a crisis meeting of union officials today to discuss the impact of the carbon tax, he said his union wanted to ensure that “this carbon price won’t cost a single job”.

Mr Howes, who went on television the night Kevin Rudd was removed as prime minister to declare his union’s support for Ms Gillard as the coup was unfolding, told The Australian last night: “If one job is gone, our support is gone.” (source)

Well I can tell you right now, Paul Howes: there won’t be just one job gone, there will be tens of thousands, maybe more, as our economy grinds to a halt, our industries move offshore and our competitors rub their hands with glee.

Also highly recommended is Jeff Kennett’s article in the Herald Sun: Gillard government has failed us

%d bloggers like this: