Australian Industry Group boss Innes Willox suggests changes to an utterly useless carbon tax that should actually be dropped completely And those proposal expose the political stupidity of those who designed the wretched thing:
First, the starting fixed price should be more in line with international prices. Had the Rudd-Turnbull emissions trading scheme been passed in 2009, businesses would now be looking at paying a far lower internationally comparable price of about $5 a tonne, instead of the $23 a tonne they now face.
Second, there should be an earlier transition to full emissions trading linked to credible international abatement credits. Currently, industry must wait until mid-2015 for a flexible, market-driven carbon price.
Third, the carbon floor price to operate from 2015 should be reduced from $15 a tonne to no more than $10, or dropped altogether. International price expectations have fallen sharply since the $15 floor was set.
Do all that, and the bipartisan emissions reduction target of 5 per cent will still be met, with a higher ratio of affordable international offsets in the mix.
Note that Willox puts much faith in meeting our “emissions reduction target” by allowing business “a higher ratio of affordable international offsets”.
This actually means not cutting our emissions at all. It means shipping billions of dollars overseas to countries claiming to make the cuts that we won’t.
You’d be a fool not to suspect that this massive wealth transfer won’t be squandered on a cornucopia of dodgy schemes, scams and frauds.
Picture this: A choir singing the last chorus of Jerusalem swells and we hear the words “I will not cease from mental fight, nor shall my sword sleep in my hand, ‘til we have built Jerusalem, in England’s green and pleasant land”. Julia Gillard . . . is standing in front of a podium. The map of Australia fills the background. And looking directly into the lens of the camera, she says: “William Blake wrote those words 200 years ago as a protest against the dark, satanic mills of the industrial revolution. Now, in 2012 in Australia, my government is about to enact a bill to put a price on carbon which we believe will help to reduce carbon pollution and keep Australia, our Jerusalem, our green and pleasant land, safe for our children and grandchildren . . .”
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 hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.