Australia carbon tax repeal a 'perfect storm of stupidity'

Jul 20, 2014 by Martin Parry

Australia's axing of its carbon tax and a plan to replace it by offering incentives to polluters to increase their energy efficiency is "the perfect storm of stupidity", scientists and academics argue.

The repeal of the divisive levy, a fundamental pledge of the conservative government at elections last year, has been warmly welcomed by farming, industry and mining groups.

"The was a dead weight on the Australian economy and abolishing it is a win for consumers, a win for energy users and a win for business," said Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry head Kate Carnell.

Minerals Council of Australia chief Brendan Pearson agreed, saying: "The removal of the world's biggest carbon tax is an important step towards regaining the competitive edge that Australia lost over the last decade".

But Prime Minister Tony Abbott's government, which argued the cost was being passed to consumers, resulting in higher utility bills, has also faced a storm of criticism since the axing last Thursday.

It has been led by EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard and environmental activist Al Gore, who said Australia was "falling behind other major industrialised nations in the growing global effort to reduce carbon emissions".

Conservation groups have also been scathing, and many experts have been left scratching their heads.

Roger Jones, a Research Fellow at the Victoria Institute of Strategic Economic Studies, called the repeal "the perfect storm of stupidity".

"It's hard to imagine a more effective combination of poor reasoning and bad policy making," he said.

"A complete disregard of the science of and its impacts. Bad economics and mistrust of market forces."

Direct action plan

The abolition has left Australia with no economy-wide mechanism for reaching its stated goal of a minimum five percent reduction in by 2020.

It must now try and win the support of a divided upper house Senate, where it needs the backing of a host of minor parties for its alternative "direct action" plan to tackle pollution.

Under this proposal, financial incentives are offered for polluters to increase their , as opposed to the carbon tax where the biggest polluters paid for the emissions they produced.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt said last week he was confident the Senate would legislate the Aus$2.55 billion (US2.4 billion) direct action policy.

But how he manages to get the Palmer United Party—which has three senators the government needs on board for legislation to pass—onside is unclear.

Powerbroker Clive Palmer's trade-off for supporting direct action is government backing for an with a starting carbon price of zero.

He says this scheme would only begin once Australia's major economic partners established similar programmes. Hunt has said this was "not our policy".

Roger Dargaville, a senior analyst at the Melbourne Energy Institute & School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne, said a direct action plan was not the way forward.

"When the clean energy bill was introduced in 2012 (by the previous Labor government), there was a significant and immediate reduction in the emission intensity of Australia's electricity production," he said.

"The improvement was due to a shift away from brown coal and an increase in gas and hydro power."

He said the change was driven by the price on carbon, and direct action would not work as well as it failed to penalise the worst culprits.

Jemma Green, a senior Research Fellow at Curtin University, agreed.

"With what we know so far about the direct action plan, we can see there are major loopholes which could mean the policy costs more while doing less than Australia's current climate laws," she said.

Michael Raupach, director of the Climate Change Institute at the Australian National University, said the repeal was a major blow but all was not lost.

"There are signs of a quiet revolution, despite our national leadership," he said, pointing to more determined moves internationally to tackle climate change.

Explore further: Blow for Australia government as carbon tax repeal fails

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Egleton
4.3 / 5 (11) Jul 20, 2014
"Under this proposal, financial incentives are offered for polluters"

There you have it.
That is code for welfare for corporations: guaranteed to end up in the CEO's paypacket. Without even a thankyou.
BSD
3.8 / 5 (17) Jul 20, 2014
This is what happens when my countrymen elect a religious fuckwit into power.

Everything Abbott has done so far is in line with his ultra religious, conservative views.

Not only this bullshit legislation, but his contempt for science by axing the Australian Federal Ministry for Science and Industry.

The worst Prime Minister we have ever had, by coincidence, the last one was a conservative too.

Only a conservative would think up a scheme where you pay a mining company for saving money but still pumping out the pollution. All at the tax payers expense, right on the corporate bottom line.

We have another 2 years to go before we through this conservative dickhead out and the rest of the wankers.
Shootist
1.8 / 5 (10) Jul 20, 2014
You boys are lost in a world you didn't create.

This OZ carbon tax has been repealed to be replaced with a new carbon tax already announced.
BSD
4.2 / 5 (15) Jul 20, 2014
You boys are lost in a world you didn't create.

This OZ carbon tax has been repealed to be replaced with a new carbon tax already announced.


You have no idea what the weather is like here. We have been getting hotter summers every year in Adelaide. This next summer is expected to be hotter again. This is no myth, records back it up. It is a simple case of looking them up and charting them. Simple primary school maths.

If I had my way, I'd tax the living daylights out of polluting companies and prevent them from passing on the expense. If they can't clean up their act, they go bust. Too fucking bad.
FainAvis
3.7 / 5 (13) Jul 20, 2014
I went to vote early, and one is supposed to give a reason.
"Why do you want to vote early?" said the pretty booth atendant.
"I'll be in hospital on polling day," quoth I.
"Oh, why?"
"I'll be having a lobotomy."
"A lobotomy!" she said, "Why do you need a lobotomy?"
"Because I was thinking of voting for Abbott!"
:-)
antigoracle
1.8 / 5 (10) Jul 20, 2014
Sounds like they removed your brain mate. You should ask for a refund.
antialias_physorg
4.1 / 5 (14) Jul 20, 2014
it is a win for consumers, a win for energy users and a win for business

Wow. Furthering a course of action that will lead to the extinction of the human race is a 'win'? Those PR guys are getting really good...
Dr_toad
Jul 20, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Egleton
3.9 / 5 (11) Jul 20, 2014
A fair go. Abbott has kept all his promises to the Big end of town.
He is taxing the little folk and handing the loot to the big polluters.
A true pro. He does it for the money.
He Promises that my electricity bill will come down 10%.

(I wonder if I can recruit him as a pilot for my interstellar mission. I have welded up the 45 gallon drums, filled her up with oxy-acetelene and she just needs someone on top. I'll hold the ladder.)
BSD
4.1 / 5 (9) Jul 20, 2014
Sounds like they removed your brain mate. You should ask for a refund.


Well, that is what Abbott voters behave like. Brainless.

Judging by what you write, your one of them aren't ya.
antigoracle
1.9 / 5 (13) Jul 20, 2014
Get a brain then learn the difference between your and you're, and then we will talk.
GuruShabu
2.9 / 5 (9) Jul 20, 2014
Tonny kept his word differently from the previous one (that lady that received money from the Union under the carpet).
This stupid carbon tax was 550% higher that the EU one.
On the top of that "Lady" added up a mining tax.
Now, as a consequence the mining industry is on its knees and most of my colleagues Mining engineers are unemployed or working overseas.
This will take of a huge burden imposed by a dreamer with no connection to reality.
Well done Mr. Abbott!
antigoracle
1.4 / 5 (9) Jul 20, 2014
Well, you know it's good for you when Al "False Profit" Gore is behind it.
http://www.thegua...bromance
http://www.thegua...riticism
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (11) Jul 20, 2014
Where do the carbon taxes go?
US gas taxes are supposed to pay for roads, but there is never enough money to fix the roads.
How do the govts ensure the 'sin' taxes fund what they claim they will fund?
State govts won millions from cigarette lawsuits, but had no requirement to spend the money as they claimed they would.
Any tax is just another excuse to plunder more wealth for govts that can't cut spending.
Egleton
4.6 / 5 (9) Jul 20, 2014
The point is with the carbon tax the government could afford to spend money on projects that benefit everyone.
Now they will have to extract the taxes somewhere else to fund those projects.
They are taking money from the middle class and giving it to big business as a hand out, a freebie.
And then he says my electricity bill will come down 10%.
whoopie doo.
Maybe
del2
3.1 / 5 (7) Jul 20, 2014
Where do the taxes go? Into the Government's General Revenue.
Where did they come from? The businesses that had to pay them just passed the extra costs on to the consumer, as predicted. The tax did not provide the slightest incentive to reduce pollution.
Egleton
3.2 / 5 (6) Jul 20, 2014
My taxes are going to go up in order to pay the freebie to the CEOs.
And my taxes are going to go up to fund the revenue shortfall.
Sum the two.
I am against universal enfranchisement, some people should Never be given vote, they are too gullible and need protecting.
Dr_toad
Jul 20, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
antigoracle
1.5 / 5 (8) Jul 20, 2014
Gullible or ignorant? The second condition can be treated, but there's no money in that.
--toadster
You should ask for a refund. That treatment obviously did not work for you.
howhot2
4.6 / 5 (9) Jul 20, 2014
This is what happens when my countrymen elect a religious fuckwit into power.

Everything Abbott has done so far is in line with his ultra religious, conservative views.

Not only this bullshit legislation, but his contempt for science by axing the Australian Federal Ministry for Science and Industry.

The worst Prime Minister we have ever had, by coincidence, the last one was a conservative too.

Only a conservative would think up a scheme where you pay a mining company for saving money but still pumping out the pollution. All at the tax payers expense, right on the corporate bottom line.

We have another 2 years to go before we through this conservative dickhead out and the rest of the wankers.
And this is exactly the same thing the riighwing of our two party system is offering in the USA. Anti-science, overly religious, destructive bullshit that doesn't give one cent of support to the people. Long term, these wingnuts could really put mankind's survival on the brink.
marko
5 / 5 (9) Jul 20, 2014
The australian conservatives introduced the biggest tax on Australians - its called the GST (Goods and Services Tax).

They have the hide to say the Carbon Tax will destroy the country.

Where did all the money go from the GST, mining boom and 24 years of economic growth. Pissed it away forever.

Also Kate Carnage says - "The carbon tax was a dead weight on the Australian economy and abolishing it is a win for consumers, a win for energy users and a win for business," said Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry head Kate Carnell.

She was the person that invited the public to watch a building demolition in Canberra which resulted in the decapitation of a 12 year old girl. As for her judgment - dont ask about her drink driving record either.
sennekuyl
4.2 / 5 (5) Jul 21, 2014
Where do the taxes go? Into the Government's General Revenue.
Where did they come from? The businesses that had to pay them just passed the extra costs on to the consumer, as predicted. The tax did not provide the slightest incentive to reduce pollution.

Yet apparently emissions did go down, and productivity stayed up having been previously dropping...

http://www.tradin...uctivity

It is odd, but almost everything I've been able to find regarding the Liberals' stance & statements on economy and productivity have been at polar opposites to what every data trend has been showing.

At least our other politicians [all parties] intermingle facts with their lies.
Sinister1812
5 / 5 (5) Jul 21, 2014
Well, you know it's good for you when Al "False Profit" Gore is behind it.
http://www.thegua...bromance


Gotta love this guy. Typical parrot.
antigoracle
1 / 5 (4) Jul 23, 2014
Gotta love sinister. Typical AGW Chicken Little tard.