Monday, July 02, 2012

Happy New Financial Year: May You Be Able To Heat Your Own House

And so the second half of the year begins. Don't ask me where the first half went, for us its disappeared into a blur of school routine.

The big news, here in Australia is that...

  1. Its the end of the financial year (tax time, groan)
  2. We are now being carbon taxed
With regards to 2. our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, decided to make light of the controversial tax that will see (for starters) energy bills for all Australians jump by 15 - 20% (estimates vary - and that's before the price gouging has begun), by coming up with the following quote.
The time has come for Australians to judge the carbon tax for themselves - and realise "the sky hasn't fallen in", Prime Minister Julia Gillard says
I'm still reeling that she actually said it.  

I'm sure you are aware of the tale of Chicken Licken. Where a young and stupid chicken runs around in a panic because someone has told him the sky is going to fall down.

So, what Ms Gillard is patronisingly telling the country she leads, is that we've all been running around in a panic about the carbon tax (I'd have called it grim bitter resentment myself) and that here we are, its come into effect, and nothing is different.

Well no. Because none of us have got our electricity bills yet. We're not yet seeing the price gouging that's about to happen on every consumable product and service you care to think of.  It won't happen on the first day (well it might, but any company stupid enough to do it is going to get slaughtered by the Government and Journalists alike), it won't happen in the first month, but by Christmas and over the next few years the prices will creep up and up because the big companies will be passing on the tax, and having a red hot go at increasing their profit margins whilst they are about it.

I am not against the carbon tax per se.  It agrees with my stance on things environmental, but its the fact its been forced through by a Goverment whose balance of power is in the hands of a few individuals, who are running the country to their own agenda. Its because the tax will do little to stem the tide of pollution, and that everyday households will bear the brunt of increased costs.  Why would companies reduce their carbon footprint, when they can just raise their costs and let the consumer pay for the new tax?

So cheers, one and all.  Welcome to the new financial year.  May the carbon tax tread lightly on  your pocket, and may you be able to afford to heat your own house.

2 people love me:

Tenille said...

I think you'll find that Gillard's comment was in response to the scare campaign being run by the LNP - claiming that certain SA towns and whole industries would be wiped off the map. They won't. There will be adjustments, but that's the whole point. 

Having said that, this change to our economy is expected to have less of a financial impact on households than the introduction of the GST did.

From what you say here, I think you agree that something needs to be done to address our carbon output. Pricing carbon is an internationally recognised mechansim aimed at reducing those emissions - basic market economics. I don't know that redirecting funds raised as compensation is the best way to use those funds, but seems to be politically necessary. The use of those funds for Clean Technology Programs, investing in green technology and industry, is a step in the right direction.

It's unfortunate that this has all come at a time when we've been slugged for years of mismanagement and neglect of our energy infrastructure. I live in NSW, and the previous state labour governments shambolic nature has left us with an aging and frail electricity network that needs a lot of money thrown at it.

But the fear mongering and posturing of the LNP has been disgraceful. I'm thouroghly disgusted with the deliberately misinformed drivel that Abbott and co have been spruiking. I'd encourage everyone to do their own research, read independent opinion on this issue, and make up their mind for themselves.

Kirsten said...

Yes, as Tenille said, I think it was Abbott she was calling chicken little, not the populace.

As fir the rest, I think companies *will* reduce their emissions, because doing so will now give them a competitive edge.