Australians won’t warm to the carbon tax
It’s not surprising that the latest Nielsen poll shows that the carbon tax remains deeply unpopular, despite the Gillard Government’s “cash for you” compensation.
Australians instinctively know that this tax, as well as being entirely futile, represents a major betrayal by the Government.
While the polls show that many feel rising costs are not the major problem with the carbon tax, many hidden costs are yet to be revealed.
As I talk to people in small and medium businesses, it is apparent that the carbon tax will have a more insidious impact on business than the Government has ever admitted.
The latest “hidden” impact is that commercial insurance premiums are set to rise due to the high cost of losses associated with refrigerant gas replacement.
According to a document published online by Zurich Insurance:
“In Australia, well over 95% of all machinery breakdown insurance risks comprise of air conditioning and refrigeration plants.”
“Machinery breakdown insurance policyholders, in particular those with air conditioning and refrigeration as part of their business, will see significant price increases in the repair costs of gas.”
Zurich has also stated that:
“Carbon pricing will have a dramatic affect (sic) on losses. It does not take into consideration the added costs of repairer mark ups or the costs associated with actual equipment breakdown. It should also be noted that carbon tax per tonne is not static; it will rise in 2013 and again in 2014. Due to these significant increases, we recommend that brokers review the adequacy of sums insured with clients and, as with the Zurich Engineering product, ensure their current coverage automatically includes the costs associated with the loss of refrigerant gases.”
This of course is yet another unpleasant surprise for businesses who are already struggling under difficult economic conditions.
It comes on top of dramatic increases in waste disposal fees. We’ve seen a 25% increase in skip bins and this will not only impose more costs on industry but will also add to the likelihood of illegal dumping - yet another perverse outcome of this tax.
Everywhere I go across Australia, the perverse outcomes of the carbon tax are apparent.
Whether it is rendering the recycling of manufacturing waste unviable, jeopardising the operations of engine re-manufacturers or threatening to send industry off-shore to less efficient countries, the carbon tax is an ill-conceived and dangerous policy.
And the bottom line is that it will have a flow-on effect and a much bigger price impact for Australian families than the Government has admitted.
The polls show what is being reflected in the community, that Australians will not “warm” to this tax because they can see how futile and perverse it is.
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