Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard Levies to Find the Money She Wasted

Posted on Thu 01/27/2011 by

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Andrew BoltBy Andrew Bolt

The Prime Minister might in fact have trouble implementing this range of measures. The Levy (a new tax) is just part of the plan. If as she proposes, those other plans are to be implemented, the trouble then arises on the floor of The Senate where Gillard only has control with the support of the Greens Party, and most of these initiatives are Green Party policies that have been backed by the Greens Party. If she seeks to dismantle them, she will lose the support of the Greens…..TonyfromOz.

Julia Gillard confirms she will levy taxpayers to help rebuild Queensland:

A levy of 0.5 per cent will be applied on taxable income between $50,001 and $100,000 and a levy of one per cent will be applied on taxable income above $100,000… “A person earning $100,000 per year will pay just under an extra $5 per week,” she said.

This will raise $1.8 billion – or less than the $2.7 billion the Rudd Government so lightly threw away on the disastrously rorted “free” insulation scheme.  It is less than double the $1.1 billion the Government frittered away on its subsidies for largely useless solar roof panels.  It is only just over three times more than what the Rudd Government so lightly promised to give car makers under its $500 million Green Car Innovation Fund. It is only four times more than what Gillard herself promised to waste on her preposterous $400 million ”cash for clunkers” scheme.

Those are just some of the green follies that this Government splahsed cash on that it now struggles to find for real work in Queensland.

And then there’s the other waste, like Gillard’s own “Building the Education Revolution”, the rort-ridden school halls program that wasted much of the $16.2 billion that Labor casually lavished on it. That one program alone alone cost eight times more than what Gillard hopes now to raise with a flood levy for Queensland – or, in truth, a levy to help her meet her politically-decreed deadline of returning the Budget to surplus by 2012-13. That should tell you how criminally profligate Labor has been with the money it now so desperately needs.

That’s the first point. The second, as Reserve Bank board member Warwick McKibbin said today, is the danger of clobbering the shaken economy just now with yet another tax.

Then there’s a third point, raised by the cuts Gillard announced today to help raise the total of $5 billion – with the levy – she thinks the Government will need to find for Queensland.

Lots of the savings are to be raised by axing or delaying green schemes to “stop” global warming:

I am abolishing, deferring and capping access to a number of carbon abatement programs,” Ms Gillard said.

These include the Green Car Innovation Fund, Cleaner Car Rebate Scheme, the Carbon Capture and Storage Flagships and Solar Flagships, the Solar Hot Water Rebate, Green Start Program, Solar Homes and Communities Plan and the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute.

“The key to these carbon abatement program savings is my determination to deliver a carbon price.”

Some of these policies are less efficient than a carbon price and will no longer be necessary, Ms Gillard said.

The Green car innovation fund and “cleaner car rebate” – known as “cash for clunkers” – are to be scrapped completely.

This I like, of course. I congratulate Gillard for at last seeing the light, even though she’s still threatening to impose a “carbon price” – in fact, a tax on carbon dioxide.

But in announcing these cuts :

- Gillard in fact confirms that these programs were always inefficient, unfair and unncessary. So why were they ever imposed on us in the first place? How many billions have been wasted?

- Gillard seems to imply that the $100 million a year being invested in the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute – money she suggests she is “deferring” or “capping” – isn’t into such promising resxearch, after all. In fact, it’s been increasingly obvious that the “clean coal” dream is a mirage, hyped simply to be seen to be “doing something” about global warming.  So if clean coal technology is a mirage, the pressure grows on Gillard to end her irrational ban on nuclear power – the only viable source of base-load, greenhouse-friendly power, other than dams.

And there’s the intriguing conclusion we must make, if we assume Gillard is acting rationally and logically.

With these cuts, Gillard implies a rejection of the link between global warming and the Queensland floods. Surely if these floods were caused or made worse by global warming – as so many ideologues still claim – then it’s plainly stupid to respond to them by cutting funding for the technologies we’re told would help stop that warming. Gillard can’t possibly mean to pay for floods by cutting programs designed to stop them, right?  To suggest she’s simply replacing inefficient programs with a more efficient “carbon tax” is deceptive, for two reasons – there’s still no such tax to replace them, and is unlikely to be for some time yet; and if global warming is serious, you can both impose a “carbon tax” and fund research into the green technologies we’d need. Indeed, you’d feel compelled to.

But if Gillard indeed now doubts the global warming theorists who predicted “permanent drought” rather than flooding rains, and empty rivers and dams rather than these banks-bursters, then she must also doubt the need for her “carbon tax”. If we no longer need all this green spending, then perhaps we don’t need Gillard great new green tax, either.

Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

Read more excellent articles from Andrew Bolt’s Blog

Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and is a regular commentator on Channel 9′s Today show and ABC TV’s Insiders. He will be heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of new radio station MTR 1377, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.

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