If you transferred millions from a public hospital budget to the Cayman Islands, it would be a national scandal. But transferring the same millions to Canberra in the name of a carbon tax has evoked not even a whisper in our four Labor states and territories.

Another vintage Warren Brown…

It is not like they can afford it. Tasmania just pleaded for and secured a $325 million bailout. That total will now be deducted a carbon tax. Northern Territory is in meltdown attempting to meet the needs of remote Aboriginal populations. South Australia and the ACT are little better.

Thankfully the four Coalition states have now completed their carbon tax analysis. This week, Western Australia became the fourth jurisdiction after New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland to report the carbon tax impact upon its hospital system.

Calculating the carbon tax on these public health facilities is a complex, incorporating grid power, gas consumption, the carbon price on every consumable and the freight costs of delivery. Hospitals are massive energy consumers, emitting five megatons of CO2e annually. Beyond grid-supply, they consume co-generated power, natural gas, LPG and raise steam.

Victorian grid supplied energy is predicted to rise 14% in real terms. LNG will increase 16%, rising to 19% in 2020. Capital expansion of hospitals is also affected, even though energy intense trade exposed sectors like aluminium, cement and steel are partially assisted.

It is a vital calculation to perform because unlike the rest of the economy, public health services don’t charge their patients. Unable to pass the carbon tax along a supply chain through price adjustments, state governments have little option other than to deliver fewer services.

Less health care is a logical outcome because Canberra remains wedded to an economy-wide tax, refusing any compensation or exemption to state emergency, health, education and social services.

That means the carbon tax will hit any health service with a power point, including the small facilities like alcohol, drug and mental health services which don’t have the luxury of juggling budgets and programs to come up with the cash for Canberra.

The first state to report was New South Wales where Treasury revealed the carbon tax hit on their health services would be $26.5 million per year or $1,965 per bed. They forecasted an overall impact of $212 million by 2020. Next, Victoria estimated a $13.5 million hospital carbon tax this year, rising to $21 million annually by 2020 per annum.

The dispersed Queensland population faces the highest carbon price of the Coalition states, with a $30 million bill in 2013 or a $2,425 annual hospital bed tax. With health spending in that state growing at around 11% per annum, this figure will also rise dramatically to $280 million by the year 2020.

New Western Australian analysis approximated Victoria’s with a direct impact of $6-7 million per year, $1,477-$1,724 per bed and a $60 million money-go-round to Canberra by 2020.

Obviously none of this money circulation cools the planet, let alone saves it. Already grinding out efficiency dividends, it is pretty obvious that most state hospital systems will simply pay the tax as they go, cut services or rack up more debt.

Remarkably, half of Australia doesn’t even know carbon debiting is occurring at hospital level. That is because the four Labor states and territories refer all inquiries to the Commonwealth. Remaining mute to protect Julia Gillard clearly trumps protecting their populations’ health.

Sure a million here and a million there is only a fraction of a ten billion dollar state health budget. But government was once a game of millimetres, where finding scarce dollars to efficiently serve citizens was an immutable ideal. How that has changed. Minister Combet now casually claims the costs to the health system will only be 0.3% without ever explaining that such a fraction of Queensland Health is $30 million dollars annually.

The other brush-off from Canberra is that federal funding has been more than generously indexed. This year’s 6.7% increase however doesn’t come close to the year-on-year 11% budget blow-outs in Queensland Health. Indexation was determined years ago, long before the carbon price was even conceived.

Next week, COAG meets. It is the ideal time to ask why Commonwealth special purpose payments to states are now being recycled in the name of a carbon tax. For Australians desperately reliant on public hospitals, they can only hope that the services they need don’t end up being carbon taxed away to the Caymans in the form of foreign carbon credits.

Most commented

131 comments

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    • Nathan says:

      06:13am | 21/07/12

      what is this, the initial hype about it hitting the wallet of families turned out to be rubbish so we are onto this now? A coalition government blaming a carbon tax or using the carbon tax as an excuse well there is no real surprise there. You make massive assumptions.

      This is straight up LNP member of parliament running his mouth even though its only based on speculation. This is a theme that runs in the opposition. A quick scan of your previous pieces shows that you enjoy making big statements that don’t end up to be true

    • max headroom says:

      08:48am | 21/07/12

      Great piece of legislation, Australia carbon tax all encompassing at $23 p/t. European carbon tax with limited economic impact currently at $3 p/t! Another wonderfully intelligent action from our beloved Gillard Zombie government. Power at all cost from the labor elite and their governing body the union leadership. The people don’t matter it was just a little lie.

    • year of the dragon says:

      08:48am | 21/07/12

      Nathan says: 06:13am | 21/07/12

      “what is this, the initial hype about it hitting the wallet of families turned out to be rubbish”

      Nope. It has turned out to be true and this is just one impact that has escaped detailed scrtutiny, in part because ALP state governments have put politics ahead of their job.

      “A coalition government blaming a carbon tax or using the carbon tax as an excuse”

      An excuse for what? Are you saying that hospitals are not massive emitters of carbon? Are you saying that they are but that they are being compensated.

      “You make massive assumptions.”

      Such as?

      “This is straight up LNP member of parliament running his mouth even though its only based on speculation.”

      The article was on hospitals, written by a specialist surgeon and supported by facts.

      “A quick scan of your previous pieces shows that you enjoy making big statements that don’t end up to be true”

      Which ones in particular?

    • ADOLPH STALIN says:

      09:03am | 21/07/12

      your a fool nathan,the carbon tax has not even started to bite yet it is only 21 days old,you wait sonny,i call you sonny because only a stupid kid could be as blindly loyal as you to a party that are proven to waste so much money and tell massive lies ,when this tax starts filtering down it is going to spiral out of control and our standard of living will go down for no enviromental benefit

    • ChrisW says:

      09:05am | 21/07/12

      Hang on a moment Nathan I live in South Australia and we are hearing the same things being said here but the Premier clamped down on any public comment being made.  Our economy is one of the worst in the nation and we are being told it is going to get worse and that part of the reason is the Carbon Tax.
      Laming may be LNP but there are plenty of MPs on the opposite side of the fence who are equally worried about the negative impact for no positive gain.

    • Chris L says:

      09:13am | 21/07/12

      At least people might stop complaining about the articles being left wing with Andrew and Kevin joining Sophie on the Punch.

      Their amygdalas will be getting a satisfying dose of fear.

    • Joan says:

      09:19am | 21/07/12

      Gillard wacking the world`s highest carbon tax $23per tonne is real - Combet said it was real, and is bragging about it and it happened 1st July and you bet if someone is getting slugged extra tax you and I will pay for it big time and we won’t notice a change in the quality of air . A big scam perpetrated on Australian people.

    • Burp! says:

      10:29am | 21/07/12

      acotrel - So keeping with that remark and the ideology of it, are you not also suggesting that labourites were born to be led - In that case one could also surmise that union officials are just trying to rise above their station and become leaders - thus becoming the none led!

    • Your name:Tony says:

      10:49am | 21/07/12

      Wait till the prices flow through before making stupid statements!

    • sunny says:

      12:20pm | 21/07/12

      @Nathan “A coalition government blaming a carbon tax or using the carbon tax as an excuse well there is no real surprise there.” whoa there, they’re not in government just yet!

      The way I see it Australia has made a commitment to reduce its carbon emissions. Both Labor and the Coalition have committed to reach certain targets. The question is how do we go about that. Labor has gone with carbon pricing because it is an economic world standard approach. The Coalition have their own “Direct Action” plan.

      Can Andrew Laming please write an article on how their Direct Action plan will be better than carbon pricing. How will it work, how will it achieve the emission reduction targets and how will it be funded? It’s one thing to talk down carbon pricing but let us first see if your approach will be any better. Thank you.

    • Dr B S Goh, Australian in Asia says:

      05:21am | 22/07/12

      Hi all. Does anyone know how the top ten CO2 emitters in Australia will do in 1 year in 3 years in 5 years and in 10 years???

      I just do not buy the abstract economics idea that they will invest in new technology and pronto the problem is solved.

      I have worked for five years in a small company which provided outsourcing technological services to a large company in Australia.  My guess is that a big company in Australia will not or put it more bluntly cannot innovate but it will just pass on increased costs to consumers.

      Maybe if there is a breakthrough in technology overseas they will move to new technologies in a 10 years time frame.

      Can anyone seriously say the dirty power stations in the La Trobe Valley will change in 5 years with the carbon tax?. Will it just end up by a power station paying millions to some shonky paper scheme overseas and just passing the costs to consumers?

    • Little Joe says:

      06:47am | 21/07/12

      Isn’t it evident ...... Labor hates Australians!!!!

      Nut why wasn’t this picked up before July 1 when most of the left wing media were telling Australians that the Carbon Tax will save the world!!!

    • Little Diddums says:

      02:09pm | 21/07/12

      You gotta stop using Alan Jones as your only source of information.

    • Against the Man says:

      07:05am | 21/07/12

      This is just another reason to hate Labor more smile

    • acotrel says:

      08:47am | 21/07/12

      Tony Abbott is the best reason to hate Labor.  The born to rule mentality and hatred of the fairness and decency of the Labor Party created him.  The fact that Tony Abbott is ever attributed any credibility is evidence of a death wish for Australia amongst LNP supporters.

    • Against the Man says:

      09:17am | 21/07/12

      Have a great weekend acotrel smile

    • eRon says:

      10:15am | 21/07/12

      alcotrel, it’s no wonder your mates threaten you with excommuncation if you discuss politics, when all you can contribute is drivel such as that. They’ve probably had it up to the eyeballs with your wafer-thin trollery, too.
      Sanctimonious jingoism;  the stock-in-trade of the ALP suckhole.

    • Brian Taylor says:

      10:33am | 21/07/12

      @ acotrel “hatred of the fairness and decency of the Labor Party”
      please explain.
      since when has the labor party been fair and decent?
      Labor has turned out to be a very costly mistake.
      They try to bribe the lower paid people into voting for them, so far big fail there mate.
      and hitting the lower paid with this so called EARTH SAVING TAX is a bloody joke too.
      it’ll do nothing for the earth but will help them rip taxpayers off left right and centre.
      am so looking forward to the next election, will be sitting here with a huge grin on my face and I’ll even spare a thought for the ALP / GREEN wankers.

    • marley says:

      10:43am | 21/07/12

      @acotrel - I’m sorry, but the only reason Tony Abbott is every attributed with any credibility is evidence of a death wish by the ALP.  The general populace is sick of its undemocratic ways, interminable factional infighting, inability to develop decent policy on asylum issues, and constant attempts to blame the opposition for its own failures.  It is tired, as well, of the ALP’s refusal to look honestly at itself and recognise that it has major structural problems. 

      If it’s true that oppositions don’t win elections, but that government’s lose them, then the ALP is the organisation most responsible for the rise of Tony Abbott.

    • gary says:

      02:11pm | 21/07/12

      marley of course it has nothing to do with the relentless lies peddled by Ltd. News and the shock jocks.

    • marley says:

      03:49pm | 21/07/12

      @gary - it’s not a lie that the ALP is internally undemocratic.  Bracks, Carr and Faulkner said so in their report, and none of them works for NewsLtd.  It’s not a lie that there has been infighting. I seem to recall a leadership challenge not so long ago, covered by all the major (and minor) media.  lt’s not a lie that the ALP can’t come up with a workable policy on asylum issues.  Read the Drum.  It’s not a lie that it has consistently blamed Abbott for its shortcomings - until the last couple of weeks when it started to blame the Greens.  Watch or read any media outlet.

      It would certainly be a lie to claim that these problems were all invented by News Ltd.  So, I’m going to suggest that you yourself have quite a problem distinguishing fact from opinion.

    • Mack says:

      04:42pm | 21/07/12

      Which ‘lies’ are you referring to, gary? Easy to throw out a well worn cliche, but a bit harder to come up with actual examples, eh?

      Here’s one for you - “There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead”. Julia Gillard 2010

    • P. Walker says:

      03:32pm | 22/07/12

      @acotrel, you’re the reason many will vote the government out, you know that don’t you?

      My hunch is that Tony’s paying you?

    • Babylon in Canberra says:

      07:08am | 21/07/12

      There are still people out there that think the Australian carbon tax is going to make a difference in the world.

      All that’s been done in reality is to put a ball and chain around the Australian economy.

      We are now the third must expensive country in the world, paying 65 percent more for equivalent goods than comparable countries And 300 percent more for utilities.

      Low to middle income families, even though they are working, now require additional Government handouts to make ends meet.

      Everybody passes down their carbon tax, till it hits Aussie public.

      When Gillard has to remove the compensation and reduce benefits we are going to be in so much trouble.

      Decent health care is a basic human right, we pay an enormous amount of taxes already, so our right to quality health services should not be compromised, as it surely will be if hospitals are to make ends meet.

    • Thomas says:

      10:47am | 21/07/12

      Everybody passes down their carbon tax, till it hits Aussie public.
      Everybody passes down their carbon tax, till it hits Aussie public.
      Everybody passes down their carbon tax, till it hits Aussie public.

      I think this needs to be drummed into the leftie brain with a jackhammer. Even then I doubt it would compute. They still think it’s the ‘big emitters’ only who will pay. They really think costs won’t be passed down - that these emitters will look for ‘green energy’ alternatives.

      ‘Oh but they’ll be compensated!!’ they yell. Whom? The ones already on welfare? Great.

    • Bored says:

      01:41pm | 21/07/12

      @Thomas, answer me his, what Australian government tax doesn’t “hit the Aussie public”? Howard’s GST? Income tax? Payroll tax? Take your pick but any government you vote in will take it’s money one way or another. I’m sure we would prefer it if it “hit the Kiwi public” or “hit the French public” but at the end of the day, it’s our government. Remember, total taxes as a percentage of GDP (national income) are lower under the current government than they were in the final years of the Howard era. The tax system rewards those who are clever, creative or dishonest about what they declare as what or what they write off, etc. All efforts made reward accountants etc but don’t benefit society as a whole. A carbon tax, to the extent that it replaces some of our income tax, will mean that becoming energy efficient is the best way to pay less tax. Sounds good to me. Looking forward to the income tax cuts, understanding that I’ll pay a little more on my power bill if I continue to use coal fired power, that’s ok with me.

    • Babylon in Canberra says:

      03:22pm | 21/07/12

      In 2015 the UK will be offering loans from an established Green Bank. Homeowners draw loans from this Bank to buy services from an established list of green technology installers; insulation, efficient boilers, solar etc. The low interest loans are paid back through utility bills over 15 years. The Government gets a small amount of interest for its trouble but it has ensured that home emissions are reduced and the home owner has a warmer and more marketable home. Once your home is green you pay no more monies. Everyone wins, Government, Environment, homeowner.

      Compare this to the money grab solution from the Gillard Goverment:
      The Government grabs 10 percent of your utility bills.
      Every year a guaranteed Minimum 10 percent increase in you utility bills.
      There is no vetted list of green contractors we can use to green up our homes. Gillards not bothered about low emissioned homes.
      Due to our own carbon tax and the fact that all suppliers and manufacturers have and will pass on their tax to us, means we are impoverished and so cannot afford to pay further monies to green up our homes.
      From lower to middle income families we now rely on government handouts.
      We have no clear idea how the money taken from us will be used, except wind farms and solar energy have been muted in literature with our utility bills.
      We know from the European experience solar and Wind farms cannot generate equivalent energy for our 21 century living requirements.
      We know wind farms bring their own environmental problems.
      We know a world food shortage is looming and that wind farms eat farmland.
      Experts say equivalent green technology to traditional power generation is 20 to 50 years hence.
      Yet the Gillard Government has handicapped traditional power generation and the economy now with a green tax.
      The rest of the world is doing very little to nothing and Australia cannot save the globe on its own reduced emissions.
      Climate science changes with every new article published by a wannabe PHD or money seeking institute.
      Big corporate Carbon trading is rumoured to be just a method for Governments to dip into Global Corporate bank accounts.
      The whole carbon tax philosophy is “if you’ve got money you can pollute to your hearts content.” This is as true at domestic level as it is at global corporate level.
      If you can afford to pay your carbon tax why switch off an unnecessary light or green up your home?

      Gillard has spent the carbon tax money grab trying to buy votes, keep families afloat and plugging wholes that the carbon tax has ripped in the economy.

      Consider the above and Assuming climate change is a threat to continued human existence, How will the Carbon tax reverse a 650,000 year Old process and reduce average global temperatures slightly In a 1000 years hence?

    • Mouse says:

      03:30pm | 21/07/12

      The thing I find amusing is that Labor forgot about the GST when they dreamed up the carbon tax. Combet and Bradbury are saying that
      “The GST does not apply to the carbon price, it applies to the supply of goods and services.” and anyone that passes on the their costs of the carbon tax will be fined up to $1.1million.
      OK, so the carbon tax doesn’t have a GST on it at the first tier. When it is passed onto the next stage, GST has to be added,  as is the legal requirement within the tax act as it now becomes “goods & services”, and so on and so on down the chain, till it hits Aussie public. So businesses will now be in trouble with either the ATO or the ACCC!?!

      At least with the GST we know it is 10%. With the carbon tax we don’t know what the real cost is and if we are being charged correctly. A little note saying how much carbon tax we are paying does not do this.
      Also gillard is only going to compensate everyone until it turns into an ETS, which comes in in 2015. Too bad if the price is $50/tonne by then.

      Regardless of anything else, how long have they had to work out all the bugs before this great world saving tax was implemented…...... and they forgot about the GST???
      If it wasn’t so serious, it would be hysterical, wouldn’t it swanny? lol :o)

    • Babylon in Canberra says:

      06:36pm | 21/07/12

      Ha ha yes the GST debarcle! The fact that the carbon tax is so ill thought out proves it is just a money grab. Thought no further than getting the cash out of our pockets.

      But you know costs for goods and services steadily rose once it became clear the Gillard Government was daft enough to implement the carbon tax.

      It will be hard for the Gillard Government to prove and fine everyone for slipping the carbon tax into their costs of goods sold.

      Everyone uses their operation costs to calculate a unit cost to which they apply a mark up.

      This threat to fine suppliers and manufacturers is an empty threat, it is meant to convince people the ludicrous cost of living is not due in part to the carbon tax.

      It’s like the Gillard Government saying the carbon tax had no effective in Whyalla, when we knew industries there had previously shed jobs and then were subsequently given $640 million to protect them from the carbon tax.

      The $640 million compensation is clear cut evidence the carbon tax is having a bad effect.

    • sunny says:

      08:32pm | 21/07/12

      Come on guys and gals, concentrate. What is the problem? Excessive CO2 emissions leading to increases in global temperature. If this is not the problem then take it up with the Coalition, who will agree with me that this IS the problem! So what is the solution to the problem. The solution is to restrain, and ultimately reduce, emissions. How are we going to do that across a society as complex as ours? Isn’t an extra fee per tonne of emissions a good way to go about it? Won’t this provide an incentive - in the language that companies speak i.e. the language of the bottom line - to reduce their emissions?

      You act as if the world has been turned upside down and given a good shake all because of the carbon price. Your grandfathers who fought in the war would be shaking their heads. Wait another 50 years when we haven’t acted to reduce emissions. We’ll all be old and grey but we will see the effects of our unbridled energy consumptions for all those years of our lives just before we die, and there;s nothing we can do about it then. But we can surely do something about it now! Shut up and get on with it.

      PS Babylon stop talking shit.

    • GK says:

      07:25am | 21/07/12

      In addition the government has not even taken into account the hit on education, local governments, and its own federal government departments which are large electricity uses. Not to mention the charity organisations. This government has not thought this through is so obvious that they could not even anwer the question on how GST would apply on the carbon tax.
      And the “funniest” thing is that there will continual increase in carbon dioxide production in AUstralia (as stated in the treasury modelling). The only decrease is a “technical” decrease as billions are paid overseas for little pieces of paper that say you reduced your carbon by this much by paying me.

    • JoniM says:

      11:09am | 21/07/12

      The whole Carbon Tax policy and the Government’s touted financial impacts on people are simply pure deceit !  They claim they have done the sums and the modelling and it will only cost $8.30 per week for households and they have already been over compensated for that !
      What a lot of garbage !
      How can any impact model be calculated accurately, when you have no idea what households will be purchasing, or which product and services providers will be increasing their prices and by how much, either justifiably or via pure opportune price gouging ?
      I can’t believe that the media hasn’t been even more scathing of the incompetents in government for their continued lies and deceit !
      We have no idea of the true cost impacts on us ! Every day we find a new area that seems to have been overlooked in the dubious calculations ! This crap that only 300 polluting businesses will be paying for the tax is totally deceitful. Everyone of us individually and any organisation that uses electricity or buys anything will be paying big time for this ridiculous policy !

    • Burp! says:

      11:39am | 21/07/12

      JoniM // Don’t forget in 2014 the diesel component of the CT kicks in - So then it will not only be whatever businesses requiring electricity that get hit, but also those that require diesel in the delivery of their goods…

    • rob says:

      04:19pm | 22/07/12

      Wow, Sunny is a Zealot ...pretty dangerous is that one

    • sunny says:

      09:53am | 23/07/12

      @rob - Somebody’s got to show a bit of zeal for evidence, facts and common sense. Take for example the Access Economics report which says the carbon tax would have little economic impact. ‘‘It is a far bigger issue politically than economically.’’

    • Gregg says:

      07:27am | 21/07/12

      ” In New South Wales Treasury revealed the carbon tax hit on their health services would be $26.5 million per year or $1965 per bed. They forecasted an overall impact of $212 million by 2020. Victoria estimated a $13.5 million hospital carbon tax this year, rising to $21 million annually by 2020 per annum.

      The dispersed Queensland population faces the highest carbon price of the Coalition states, with a $30 million bill in 2013 or a $2425 annual hospital bed tax. With health spending in that state growing at around 11% per annum, this figure will also rise dramatically to $280 million by the year 2020.

      Western Australian analysis approximated Victoria’s with a direct impact of $6-7 million per year, $1477-$1724 per bed and a $60 million money-go-round to Canberra by 2020. “

      Well, we all might have known for some time that Queenslanders have trouble keeping track of beautiful and perfect days and that blokes like Beatie could never carry a ball anywhere like a bloke called Beatson and that we need not bother comparing Anna with Artie and that trys do not always convert to $$$$ but it does seem the Mexicans are a bit of the odd ones out when it comes to accounting and that the Sand Gropers aren’t too far behind them.

      Perhaps it is just that those Mexicans can run a tighter ship and NSW have mafioso tendencies in conceiving how to develop new money spinners.

      And then we come to the feds and the dizzying of their heads or is it more of dumb, more dumb and dumber still that voters should continually keep reminding themselves of for eternity.

    • Cobbler says:

      07:36am | 21/07/12

      ..........and if there was no carbon tax and power prices had just gone up by another 5% people would just be getting on with their lives rather than wasting so much time on this economic apocalypse rubbish.

    • year of the dragon says:

      08:51am | 21/07/12

      Cobbler says: 07:36am | 21/07/12

      “and if there was no carbon tax and power prices had just gone up by another 5% people would just be getting on with their lives rather than wasting so much time on this economic apocalypse rubbish.”

      But there is a carbon tax.

      It will have zero impact on the climate change.

      It will have (is having) a negative economic impact.

    • eRon says:

      10:18am | 21/07/12

      Year of the dragon…
      That would be a, LASTING negative economic impact, wouldn’t it?

    • Keith Hammersmith says:

      01:19pm | 21/07/12

      @ Cobbler…  a stupid argument,  electricity prices have gone up due to the carbon tax. you can not say ‘if there was no carbon tax and prices went up….” because it is irrelevant.  And we are only 21 days in, the real effects have not be felt at all yet.
      And the part that bothers most people, is the real “effect” - on the environment - is nothing,

    • Martin H says:

      03:00pm | 21/07/12

      In the last few years, power prices have risen in Australia by over 50%, this was primarily due to infrastructure costs (towers and cable Etc.) brought about by bad management and greedy operators, it wasn’t the end of the world, we accepted it and got on with our lives, now, all of a sudden, we are told that power costs will rise by 5% due to the carbon tax, and low and behold, it’s a disaster and it is the end of the world.

      The following link is an interesting read into how some of these energy companies operate, open you eyes people, drop the ideology just for once and read why power costs have been sky-rocketing.

      http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/goldplating-the-power-grid-20120705-21iv5.html

    • Babylon in Canberra says:

      03:35pm | 21/07/12

      You not only pay for the carbon tax on your utility bills, but you also pay for that Utility company to administer the tax. This latter cost was introduced at the beginning of the year.

      My carbon tax goes straight onto my hourly rate. No worries. Someone at some stage will have to pay that part of the bill.

    • Martin H says:

      05:30pm | 21/07/12

      “My carbon tax goes straight onto my hourly rate”

      Are you one of the big polluters that pay the tax Babylon in Canberra? If not then what does “my carbon tax” mean?

      You’re probably one of the businesses that rorted the insulation scheme as well?

      No doubt, the auditors will be paying you a visit!

    • craig2 says:

      07:44am | 21/07/12

      Are we not surprised that the more we learn about the true impact of the Rabin tax, the more of a mongrel dog it is.

    • Alfie says:

      07:47am | 21/07/12

      Look on the bright side - the carbon tax will be gone in a year along with the Labor/Green Happy days again…

    • Rose says:

      09:58am | 21/07/12

      You keep telling yourself that, because that just isn’t going to happen. Abbott will not be able to pull it off. It will be years before he comes close to getting the numbers in Parliament and anyway, removing the tax will not be a straight forward motion, it will be very intricate and require the removal of compensation measures. People aren’t going to be happy if he lowers the tax threshold to $6000, and if he does, how the hell is he going to pay for it?
      He just wants to bring in his own big tax for businesses, to pay for a maternity tax that mainly benefits those who don’t need it, to the tune of up to $75,000 for six months.

    • pa_kelvin says:

      06:41pm | 21/07/12

      I’ve said before on other post’s that if this Tax is repealed ,you can bet price on goods affected now wont drop after.

    • Bob says:

      08:51pm | 22/07/12

      Rose: Either the Senate will pass what he wants without question, or he’ll call a double dissolution at the earliest opportunity and the non-Liberal component of the Senate will largely be out of a job. The time it’ll take him to get a double majority is best measured in months than years. And he’ll push them. He’ll want a Labor/Greens dominated Senate to try to block him so he CAN call a double dissolution while the vast majority still completely loathes Labor.

    • acotrel says:

      07:59am | 21/07/12

      Pollution wa s recognised as a problem during the sixties and the state government Environment Protection Authorities were set up to enforce legislation.  The legislation was couched in terms of ‘loss of amenity in the receiving environment’  Polluters were supposed to be fined - but the EPA’s were ‘paper tigers’, and stayed well away from the electricity generators. So we never adressed the problem and payed the price.  There can be no greater ‘loss of amenity’ than when half the state of Victoria burns to the ground or we have massive floods and other extreme weather events due to global warming.  If the EPA’s had been doing their jobs, we consumers would have been paying the price of rectification of the dirty facilities since the 1960s.  Why are we whinging now ?

    • Nick says:

      08:43am | 21/07/12

      because its all pain for no gain actorel..and you know it!

    • Joan says:

      09:56am | 21/07/12

      acotrel: Only the seriously deluded extremist believes Gillard carbon tax gonna stop bush fires, drought and floods. Using your logic EPA should measure and fine you for the CO2 and crap you generate

    • Knemon says:

      10:01am | 21/07/12

      That’s not true Nick, acotrel is quite correct.

      A healthier environment provides for a healthier populace, leading to less pressure on our health system, why do you think there is an increase in bronchial asthma in Australia and around the world? This is but one example.

      Cleaning up our environment is a step in the right direction in dealing with these increased medical costs and conditions. We can pay a small price now or pay tenfold in the future, which would you prefer? Because at some stage someone is going to have to pay for it, we’ve had a free ride for too long, it’s time to start paying our way.

    • eRon says:

      10:30am | 21/07/12

      Garbage, alcotrel!
      Environmental laws deal with pollution, and have effectively done so for years. Real pollution has immediate, tangible, harmful effects. By calling an inert gas that is an integral part of the life-cycle of just about every living organism, a pollutant, is just another sneaky way of attempting to draw support for what has to be the most hare-brained political exercise since I don’t know what.
      Moreover, failing to mention population pressures whilst harping on about CO2 exposes the utter hypocrisy of the climate change protagonists.
      More people, more CO2. There’s no getting away from that.

    • Brian Taylor says:

      10:40am | 21/07/12

      Are you still beating the drum about global warming?
      You haven’t yet worked out for yourself that it’s purely a con?
      better you go and do some research yourself before beating the worn out old drum acetrel

    • Lisa Meredith says:

      01:00pm | 21/07/12

      Dear eRon and Brian Taylor,

      Which bit of it most conclusively exposes AGW as a con?

      Over the last 116 years various independent lines of inquiry have accumulated (from the quantum model to the mapping of past climate change) that support the theory. There are 2 particular lines of inquiry that I believe must be addressed if I am to be convinced it is a con.

      The first is the observed rise of CO2 in the atmosphere, the radiocarbon analysis that shows it to be largely fossil-fuel derived, and the carbon cycle, which models the process.

      The second is the theory of the greenhouse effect itself. Either it is right, and predicts a rise in atmospheric molecular momentum (see my reply to James X Leftie), or it is wrong. If it is wrong, where is the evidence? Why does a microwave work? And if it is wrong, what is the alternative model for the radiative properties of atoms and molecules?

    • Lisa Meredith says:

      01:11pm | 21/07/12

      Dear eRon,

      We all accept that carbon dioxide is a vital compound: without any of it in the atmosphere we would be very cold indeed, and plants would have to operate in some other way. And carbon is the building block of life.

      But: how dies any of this preclude its heat trapping abilities?

    • Aitch B says:

      01:40pm | 21/07/12

      Hey, Lisa.

      You’ve spent lots of time here scientifically justifying lowering CO2 emissions. I think your work is done here..

      How about you pop over to China and India and give them a dose of it?

      And please don’t wax lyrical about China’s pathetic efforts.

    • sunny says:

      02:01pm | 21/07/12

      @eRon “an inert gas that is an integral part of the life-cycle of just about every living organism”

      The extra CO2 is not part of our life cycle, it was part of the life cycle of those organisms that were fossilised and buried millions of years ago. We’re borrowing CO2 from the ancient past! That’s why we’re seeing net increases in the CO2 cycle each year.

      “More people, more CO2. There’s no getting away from that. “

      The whole point is that if we transition to renewable energy, in earnest, then this won’t be the case.

    • Mattb says:

      09:42pm | 21/07/12

      Aitch B says: 01:40pm | 21/07/12
      Hey, Lisa.

      You’ve spent lots of time here scientifically justifying lowering CO2 emissions. I think your work is done here..

      How about you pop over to China and India and give them a dose of it?

      And please don’t wax lyrical about China’s pathetic efforts.”

      in other words lisa, Aitch B has no arguement to counter yours, because he/she is probably a poorly educated idiot, so he/she would really like to censor you. what a pathetic person he/she is…

    • iansand says:

      08:00am | 21/07/12

      “Sure a million here and a million there is only a fraction of a ten billion dollar state health budget.”

      Next!!!!

    • year of the dragon says:

      08:52am | 21/07/12

      How casually the left spend other people’s money.

    • LJ Dots says:

      10:00am | 21/07/12

      I’m not sure if you are being flippant iansand.

      Those dollars that you casually throw about could be an extra 400 nurses per year in NSW alone. But since they already have over 100,000 hospital nurses, I guess it’s just not that important.

    • sentient says:

      10:28am | 21/07/12

      How casually the right sell other peoples assets and give the proceeds away to people who don’t need it to buy votes.

    • year of the dragon says:

      12:22pm | 21/07/12

      Sentient says: 10:28am | 21/07/12
      “How casually the right sell other peoples assets and give the proceeds away to people who don’t need it to buy votes.”

      The last big asset sale in Australia was QR National by the Qld Labor State government. A sale made following a specific and explicit pre-election promise to not do so.

      Still, at least it was a sale made with purpose and a result. Unlike the mindless waste from the ALP’s use of public funds.

      How frustrating it must be for the ALP and their supporters: even an attempt at criticising the opposition reveals more about the duplicity and incompetence of the Labor Party than anything else.

    • year of the dragon says:

      01:11pm | 21/07/12

      Mark says: 12:36pm | 21/07/12

      “LJ Dots- were you making a flippant remark or do you really think there are 100.000 nurses in NSW???”

      It seems that LJ underestimated by over 100% the extent of iansand’s flippancy.

    • henry says:

      02:23pm | 21/07/12

      Howard
      sold Telstra
      sold the gold reserves
      sold his Qantas
      sold the commonwealth bank
      sold the airports in Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth
      just a few of the assets Howard sold off.

      Tell us about all the infrastructure he built with the proceeds.  Please.

    • LJ Dots says:

      02:45pm | 21/07/12

      Mark, thank you, I stand corrected.

      That is the total number of hospital nurses nationwide, not just in NSW. Yet the point remains, the drop in the bucket argument that iansand rolls off would still pay for a lot of nurses.

      ABS Nurse stats
      http://tiny.cc/pg4rhw

    • Gianna says:

      04:21pm | 21/07/12

      I would advise anyone reading Henry’s list to check the facts , and not just take the list at face value.

    • iansand says:

      05:33pm | 21/07/12

      Why didn’t they employ the nurses last year, when they had the money?

    • year of the dragon says:

      12:46pm | 22/07/12

      henry says: 02:23pm | 21/07/12

      “Tell us about all the infrastructure he built with the proceeds.  Please.”

      One thing that he did do with the proceeds was pay off the massive debts incurred by the previous Labor government and funded the almost unfathomable and unfunded contingent liability of public service defined benefit pensions.

      Once again, in attempting to criticise the Liberal Party, ALP apologists reveal more about the incompetence and irresponsibility of the Labor Party than anything else.

    • thatmosis says:

      08:06am | 21/07/12

      Once again we are seeing Joolia has lied to the people as she told us that the compensation would be enough to cover the cost of implementation the Tax on Nothing. Prices are going to rise and rise and the ACCC will be powerless to stop it as everything relies on that one important item POWER.
        Lies, more Lies and damn Lies and another promise to the people broken. I hope she rots in hell and it would be a completely twisted person who would come to her defence now.

    • James X Leftie says:

      08:13am | 21/07/12

      Meanwhile China increases emissions as their standard of living increases. Aussie factories going there because of lax regulations regarding pollution and C02. They might do a trial of an ETS in three years (obviously the issue is very urgent) and even then the price will be $1.30 a ton, and more than offset with the hundreds of billions they make from selling wind turbines and solar panels to the gullible, guilt-ridden West.

      In other words, China will profit from the CAGW scam, that’s the only reason they pretend to care about it with token gestures.

    • Lisa Meredith says:

      10:37am | 21/07/12

      Dear James X Leftie,

      “CAGW scam”.  What does this mean?

      Are you suggesting that the idea of rising CO2 levels increasing the amount of energy of molecular momentum of the atmosphere is a con? Evidence suggests that this is indeed happening.  Most of this extra energy of momentum is converted into other forms of energy (such as potential gravitational energy) to drive other systems out of balance (such as atmospheric expansion). The little residual energy of momentum left over is what we measure as a temperature increase.

      Or is this a reference to alarmist calls of catastrophism, which may or may not happen? (I put it to you that we don’t know either way). The greenhouse effect theory tells us what peak ambient temps will be, based on peak CO2 levels, but don’t know how much energy of momentum will be injected into the system to reach this peak temp. This means we don’t know how long it will take, or what other systems will be driven to new levels of equilibrium along the way.

      We cannot say with any certainty that it will be catastrophic, but the evidence shows that the molecular momentum of the atmosphere/ocean system is slowly but surely increasing. Of this we can be quite certain.

    • James X Leftie says:

      12:30pm | 21/07/12

      Lisa

      I always appreciate your responses, if every warmist was like you the whole debate would be a lot more civil! Thank you.

      But please address the first part of my post. The fact that countries with billions of people are growing and increasing their emissions makes anything we do useless. Hence the carbon tax or ETS is a scam.

      What about the issue of China, and as Dr Goh did, India as well? 600 million people who want electricity, houses, fridges, cars, clothes, aircons, TVs etc. And that is just India and China!

      More people = more emissions
      Moving out of poverty = many more emissions

      The world population is booming, and millions are moving out of poverty every week.

      Combine the two and face the fact that adaptation and mitigation are the only real possibilities. Don’t you agree?

    • Lisa Meredith says:

      01:30pm | 21/07/12

      Dear James X Leftie,

      So… are you saying that AGW is happening, but it’s the tax that is the scam because it does not address pressures of population and consumption? I agree that population and consumption are both causes of the problem. Nevertheless, I feel that criticising the solution is different to criticising the problem. If there is a scam, it is “the tax”, not AGW.

      It is one thing to understand the processes of AGW, but devising the correct solution is another thing entirely. My only belief here is that we are better off being proactive (not reactive) because it gives us more control over the process of change.

      Economics is not my forte, so I leave it to others who know economics to give advice on the pros and cons of each economic model, or combination thereof.

    • Martin H says:

      02:33pm | 21/07/12

      “if every warmist was like you the whole debate would be a lot more civil”

      James X Leftie - Do yourself a favour and read through the responses to this article or any other article in relation to the carbon tax, then honestly ask yourself, which side of the debate is being civil? Most, if not all, of the bitter vitriol is coming from the sceptics, who coincidentally, happen to be from the conservative side of politics.

    • James X Leftie says:

      03:01pm | 21/07/12

      Lisa

      Nobody can know for sure if CAGW is happening, I am asking what is the point of spending billions when the big emitters are doing nothing but increasing the amount of coal powered stations and other emissions, while the world population continues to explode!

      In that context the carbon tax is a scam, because it costs a lot but does nothing to curb worldwide emissions.

    • Claudia Cooper says:

      08:25am | 21/07/12

      Health care is a complete joke under Federal Labor. The lazy Roxon most likely joined the Gillard camp just to avoid Rudd’s Federal takeover plan. Too much work and responsibility just for positive management of the healthcare system. Healthcare hasn’t been reformed and it is just another failure of this Federal government.

    • Rose says:

      11:02am | 21/07/12

      I don’t know about that, my daughter was sick recently and got expert care n the RAH, people continue to receive subsidized medication via the PBS and my doctor bulk bills so I can see him and not pay a cent.
      The problem with health is that it will always be a massive cost burden, people just have to deal with that. Health is never going to be perfect because it is forever changing, becoming more and more expensive and people’s expectations for what treatment should be available and used at will are continually rising, often without acknowledgement that lifestyle changes are still necessary.
      Any take over of the health system is going to be incredibly difficult because all the states, by necessity, will be self serving with very little or no concern for the other states or the nation as a whole.

    • Burp! says:

      11:46am | 21/07/12

      Rose // Clearly not a cost burden for you as stated. I however pay over $5100 annually for private health cover, now that is hardly free.

    • ADOLPH STALIN says:

      08:36am | 21/07/12

      while i lay in the gutter freezing to death while i have a heart attack because the states cant afford a hospital bed for me at least i will be warmed by the thought that julia,s job was secured by this massive tax grab/cave in to the greens and that all these boat people will be cared for above all others,it is the new australia and we all should be ashamed of it.Our lying pathetic wastefull government is leading us down the path of 3rd world countries you watch were we are in 20 years because of these criminal labour and green unaustralians

    • Tim says:

      03:37pm | 21/07/12

      You’re a god damn f***wit

    • Bertrand says:

      08:09pm | 21/07/12

      @AdolphStalin - “this massive tax grab”

      Actually, the CPRS is likely to end up putting the government further into the red. By any real measure, it certainly isn’t a tax grab. Some fiscal elements of the scheme are very worthy (eg. transferring the tax burden from productive actions [such as work, through things such as using the carbon tax to lift the tax-free threshold to $18,200] to destructive actions [such as polluting our atmosphere]). As I have said on a previous comment on this thread, there are still obviously serious issues with the tax as it stands.

      Nonetheless, if we are going to discuss the merits or otherwise of the CPRS, we may as well try to avoid dishonest hyperbole.  If anything, if you want to make a criticism of the fiscal policy surrounding the CPRS, it is that it is provides a net tax revenue loss, not a tax grab as you have claimed.

    • Dr B S Goh, Australian in Asia says:

      08:41am | 21/07/12

      Our political leaders in the Greens and ALP and some in LNP have been conned big time by hocus pocus Economics arguments which make some wrong assumptions which have not been defined and justified.

      Firstly it assumes that Australia is a stand alone isolated Dynamic Economic System and companies will behave in certain ways in response to the carbon tax.

      A careful analysis shows this fundamental assumption is false. Instead of innovating and moving to a new technology which produces less carbon these companies and local city councils do the lazy thing and simply increase the prices of goods and services.

      Our leaders, political and famous economic professors and so called environmental scientists will fail a Systems Analysis course 101.

      Global warming is a GLOBAL problem and it is not an Australian problem per se.

      300,000,000 Indians do not have electricity and when they get it mainly from COAL the carbon tax in Australia is even more irrelevant.

      Our leaders want us to feel guilty about our per capita emission of CO2. In contrast leaders from China and India fight for their country right to produce more CO2 per capita in order to have economic growth.

      If we are serious about fighting global warming we must work to assist the bad boys in CO2 emission namely China and India to reduce the GROWTH in their CO2 emission. Each year the growth of CO2 emission in China is GREATER than the TOTAL CO2 emission in Australia.

      Australia has the largest deposits of Thorium which can provide SAFE nuclear energy. France a small landlocked country gets 80% of its electricity from Nuclear Energy. India a poor country is spending billions in R&D research on Thorium Nuclear Energy. China and India are not stupid to invest such large sums of money on Thorium nuclear energy if there is no chance to make it work.

      The chances to make Thorium nuclear energy to be main supplier of electricity is greater than solar energy which fails when the sun sets each day.

    • Andy W says:

      08:52am | 21/07/12

      How much wasted on this failed Gillard border policy that could have been used for health? ALP supporters should be as shamed as hell about their evil party!

    • youdy beaudy says:

      09:17am | 21/07/12

      Have we thought that if we turn off a few lights then it may reduce our electricity bill. Why do Government offices and Hospitals have to have every damn light on at night. And another thing is why don’t people practice health instead of illness for a change and that also might reduce the need to go to hospital in the first place.

      Now, with electricity this is why they have a switch on the wall. There is as we all know an enormous waste of energy going on not only in government buildings in empty rooms but in hospitals with empty rooms. When things are tough we reduce consumption and when it is cheap we increase. Not rocket science really

      What i would like to know is, as the carbon tax is charged on the tonnage of pollution in the atmosphere and therefore if the polluters reduce their emissions over time so they pay less or no carbon tax, will the government whoever they are take the tax away. Now, this is obviously what should happen but will it happen. Well, they have to let the public know about this and give the right information. Because if that is what should or will happen then it is up to the polluters to reduce for the benefit of the nation. It should only be a temporary tax and when the pollution is reduced or stopped then it should come off.

      Will it happen, well probably not, because the price of things go up and generally don’t come down. If that happens that they don’t remove the carbon tax eventually then it will just become another permanent tax grab just like all the other tax grabs we have thrust upon us all.

    • jaki says:

      09:26am | 21/07/12

      The cheerleaders for the carbon tax have often said that it will help to change peoples behaviour. Well, in my area I’ve seen evidence that it is working. It seems that every second house has started smoking as everyone goes back to wood-burners. You can barely breathe when you go outside now, so I’ve stopped my evening run. Besides, it used to be nice to run around the lake through the regional park, but with the increase in the dumping of household rubbish, it’s kind of lost its charm. So yes, behaviour is changing and will no doubt get worse . But hey, who cares about real pollution when we’ve got all this necessary-for-life, plant -nourishing carbon dioxide floating about ?
      Certainly not the end-of-the-world-is-nigh mob of idiots.

    • eRon says:

      11:04am | 21/07/12

      Mate I have had my wood-burner cranked up to eleven for three weeks now, in protest. My house is like a bloody sauna. It’ll eventually become illegal to own one, once the thought police we’ve elected into government get wind of the fact that they cant tax them like everything else, except for blokes selling firewood.
      Your neigbors should learn how to light one properly, by the sounds of it. After start-up they should burn virtually smoke-free.

    • Martin H says:

      03:18pm | 21/07/12

      “Mate I have had my wood-burner cranked up to eleven for three weeks now, in protest. My house is like a bloody sauna”

      What unbelievably childish like behaviour, I’m totally flabbergasted.

    • eRon says:

      09:35pm | 21/07/12

      Childish like? Good one, genius.
      I think it’s a perfectly understandable (and quite satisfying) reaction to the oppressive, expensive, and utterly futile political posturing of a government that has absolutely no attachment to the concept of honesty.
      I shall continue to purge CO2 into the atmosphere in the best way I know how, until those in power show some integrity, transparency, and respect for democratic process, and I urge anyone feeling similarly outraged to do likewise.
      Putting another piece of sequestered carbon in the hotbox right now.

    • sunny says:

      10:09pm | 21/07/12

      @eRon I’ll give you 50 bucks if you stick your head in there! smile smile

    • daniel says:

      09:32am | 21/07/12

      In my opinion, I’m over economic-based approaches to climate change. The carbon tax just seems like a complete mess and I don’t see how economic approaches can make a difference. As stated, if you use a power outlet then chances are you’re going to be paying a carbon tax.

      Exemptions, compensation and a compiled list of companies that will be paying just make this a global grandstanding exercise. I don’t understand how developed nations are going to curb the use of cheap fossil fuels for development in countries such as China and India or convince them to do so. Furthermore, if these countries decide to take part in a global carbon trading system, what will be done to monitor and enforce adherence to emission targets?

    • Woody says:

      09:33am | 21/07/12

      So, can the Author tell us how much the conservative plan to reduce emissions by the same amount is going to cost us?

    • Mattb says:

      11:19am | 21/07/12

      Pfft, dont be silly woody, why would he discuss the liberals plan when its one the most pathetic policies ever pitched to the nation. He’d have to be a stupid as the conservative twits that vote for him to even consider bringing up direct action..

    • pa_kelvin says:

      11:48am | 21/07/12

      Labor or LNP…..We dont need or want a Tax on carbon.

    • year of the dragon says:

      12:26pm | 21/07/12

      Woody says: 09:33am | 21/07/12

      “So, can the Author tell us how much the conservative plan to reduce emissions by the same amount is going to cost us?

      Mattb says: 11:19am | 21/07/12
      “Pfft, dont be silly woody, why would he discuss the liberals plan when its one the most pathetic policies ever pitched to the nation.”

      So fellas, how much is this carbon tax going to reduce the global temperature again?

    • Bored says:

      02:13pm | 21/07/12

      year of the dragon, that is an A Bolt style question. It’s not very clever.

    • marley says:

      11:02am | 22/07/12

      @Bored - the question seems to be intelligent enough that you can’t answer it.

    • year of the dragon says:

      12:51pm | 22/07/12

      Bored says: 02:13pm | 21/07/12
      “year of the dragon, that is an A Bolt style question. It’s not very clever.”

      Warmists can only go for so long answering “just coz” before people start to wonder what the “clever” question is.

    • Nyani says:

      09:45am | 21/07/12

      The voters voted for the Labor party with the full knowledge of the historical failures of it whether state or federal, there is no difference.
      Unions run this party & this is the reason that Australia is closing down its businesses or sending them off shore very rapidly.
      If carbon saturation is the reason for the global change in climate & seismic occurrence then the tax is worth considering but not for a nation that produces little if any comparatively to other nations, yet the tax is more that the heavy polluters(?) pay.
      So climate change which is very obvious & due to carbon, what is then the cause of seismic change, also very obvious,(but not debated, why, scientific manipulation incomplete?) not carbon surely, how/if/why?????????????

    • Lisa Meredith says:

      01:48pm | 21/07/12

      Dear Nyani,

      Seismic disturbances have a multitude of causes.

      One of the major causes is continental drift. The continents “float” on the liquid mantle below, and are constantly on the move. This is a major cause of both earthquakes and volcanoes.

      If the continents are initially heavy (with ice several kms thick) and then become lighter (as the ice melts) they will become more buoyant and “rise up” to the top. This movement increases the likelihood of seismic disturbances.

    • andye says:

      10:09am | 21/07/12

      “Grid supplied energy is predicted to rise 14% in real terms. LNG will increase 16%, rising to 19% by 2020.”

      This is perhaps misleading, as a chunk of that increase is not due to the carbon tax, right? electricity costs are increasing without a carbon tax and there are other existing schemes that also add to these costs.

      There are many reasonable economic arguments to be made here against the carbon tax but everyone seems happy to let vague and misleading “facts” stand. I think that with electricity prices rising, it would be reasonable to consider watering down or cancelling the tax. it is only going to help a bit, though. Conflating the carbon tax with the whole electricity price problem is just spin, though.

    • Economist says:

      11:29am | 21/07/12

      Andye, rationale arguments won’t cut it. Hysteria will.

      Yep, it all sounds scary, lets get rid of the tax.

      So Andrew Laming can you please do the same calculation focusing on the cost of infrastructure upgrades separate from the carbon tax?

      Perhaps you could do the calculation in percentage terms to provide a better picture so we can compare it. So we have $26.5+21+30+7m=$84.5m. Now lets assume the other four states and territories bring the total cost to $150m, quite a wild assertion given that they are the smaller, buts lets do it anyway.  Now total cost of public health system is $36.2b (09/10). So the costs of this increase in percentage terms is 0.414%, pretty close to the 0.3% figure of Combat’s.

      And you rightly claim that it’s a fractions game, but I’d be interested to see if GST revenues for the states increase marginally as people seem to be spending a little more. Most state and territories are cutting their budgets and looking to increase their revenues and now the elephant in the room, what taxes and cuts will an Abbottt Government undertake to achieve the 5% target??

    • Bertrand says:

      03:00pm | 21/07/12

      @Andye & @Economist - I do agree with your analyses of this article. This focus on the minor impact on healthcare budgets is a distraction. Campbell Newman pulled about the same amount ($28 million IIRC) out of education this week, apparently as a process of making it more efficient. From what I can gather many states’ health departments are increasingly cumbersome and could do with serious reforms that make them function more efficiently and cost effectively. This article is little more than some political points-scoring that simply seeks to play into people’s understandable contempt of the ALP.

      However, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to see how the carbon tax in its current form will ever be at all effective in its primary goal of helping our economy make a slower and less-painful transition away from its current reliance on carbon-based energy and towards renewable energy.

      The big issue is the reliance on offshore carbon credits, as these take away from the incentive for domestic investment in low carbon or renewable technology. Likewise, the free carbon credits given to heavy polluters removes their incentives to reduce their reliance on carbon-based energy.

      To me, these issues are the killers, and I’m finding my support shifting more towards a mixture of direct action through things such as subsidies for investment in renewables (because we need to reduce our economic dependence on fossil fuels for long-term economic reasons); investment in adaptive measures (because let’s face it, the chance of the world actually doing anything to prevent serious climate change sits somewhere close to zero); and a revised cap-and-trade ETS (domestic carbon-credits only, possible carbon tariffs on imports to protect local industry)  that works in conjunction with subsidies to stimulate the growth of Australian renewable industries without the reliance on offshore carbon credits (because, becoming a world leader in what will surely be a major growth industry in coming decades makes economic sense, as does weaning ourselves off our dependence of a finite and increasingly expensive resource).

      As you know, whilst I have acknowledged the carbon tax is flawed, I have consistently argued in favour of it, as I’ve seen it as the best policy we currently have. However, I’ve come to believe that it is simply too flawed in its current form and too narrow in its focus to be at all effective. Many of the major criticisms of it are legitimate, and reduce its ultimate effectiveness.

      At the end of the day, whatever changes we make to protect the long-term future of an economy that is far too reliant on fossil fuel energy are going to come at a short-term cost. I still firmly believe that failure to make the transition now will come at a much higher long-term cost.

      The short-termism of too many people and politicians suggests to me that as a nation we are simply going to be unwilling to pay the price now and will effectively leave it for our kids to deal with the exponential rises in fossil fuel costs that occur this century as basic forces of supply and demand continue to push up costs. Likewise, I think I’ve resigned myself to the fact that as a species we are too short-sited to make the changes that we need to secure the long-term stability of our climate and the economy that relies upon it.  All you need to do is read through any thread on this site to see that the forces of ignorance and selfishness have won when it comes to actually taking action on an issue that has a scientific probability of >95% and which will inevitably lead to climatic changes that will have serious economic, environmental and social costs.

    • Economist says:

      10:18am | 22/07/12

      Bertrand agreed and share your pessimism. But pretty much every solution has it’s flaws. Some other flaws with Labor’s policy are:
      - the price is currently too high
      - the compensation package too generous. Yet at the same time it’s a pretty big piece of tax reform, raising the threshold, this in itself people seem to be forgetting.
      - the fact that the largest pollutors haven’t put in place a tax/price.
      - the legislation itself could have been put in place and grandfathered for when more countires are on board.
      - it’s creating a new commodity to be traded and we all know how well these guys do (issue you highlight on carbon credits)
      -its a long-term strategy when people want short-term outcomes.

      But few are raising these arguments as the major concerns, though they have been mentioned. The crux of the argument by the Liberal party and other Punchers is continually on the additional costs of the tax. But any action on climate change is going to have a cost. So we have the against camp split into two groups, those against the tax but recognise CC s an issue, and those against climate change. Most of the Punchers fall into the latter category and aren’t willing to admit that a Liberal approach also has costs.

      Sure in the short-term the Liberal party approach of direct action has it’s benefits and may result in the achievement of 5% by 2020, but beyond that it will require significantly more aggressive policy.

      I’m all for increasing the GST, and allocating a proportion of this to CC issues, and providing a smaller compensation package for those most affected. I personally think that tax increases are inevitable, and despite claims the contrary we are a low tax country for our size. But I see no evidence that the Liberals will implement their policies, including those on CC, as currently planned through savings alone.  How much would say the Commonwealth under a Liberal government withdraw from the Health funding to achieve the savings? I reckon they’d need to pull a lot more out than the potential $150m year that Andrew is horrified about here, and would the states have to fill that funding gap? You betcha.

    • Iron Chef says:

      10:38am | 21/07/12

      Sorry to state the obvious, but have hospitals looked at ways to reduce their energy consumption?

    • Bored says:

      01:52pm | 21/07/12

      What a strange idea. You mean instead of jumping up & down screaming She Lied! & pretending that Abbot’s Direct Action plan won’t cost more?

    • year of the dragon says:

      12:54pm | 22/07/12

      Iron Chef says: 10:38am | 21/07/12

      “Sorry to state the obvious, but have hospitals looked at ways to reduce their energy consumption?”

      Genius Iron Chef. I’ll bet that it has never occured to the highly qualified doctors and senior executives running these massive complex enterprise to look for ways to reduce costs or look for efficiencies in their businesses.

    • Mouse says:

      02:50pm | 22/07/12

      Maybe they could make the MRI test run a minute shorter, or just not have that cardiac patient on continuous monitoring. What about turning the respirator off for 5 minutes every hour, or not bothering to Xray that broken femur because we know it’s broken! Hang on, they could save a fortune by not heating the place, just invest in extra blankets.
      Yep, I reckon there are many ways to save on energy costs that they just haven’t thought of!  :o)

    • Beardo says:

      10:39am | 21/07/12

      I’m heartened by the fact that the Australian people only have themselves to blame. We can only be hopeful this tax will kill off “It’s Time” for a generation.

    • splash says:

      11:37am | 21/07/12

      Who gives a crap,
      All this talk about the carbon tax, will be for nothing anyway when in about 300 days time, the people will get to vote and decide the fate of this tax.

      Something im sure the greens and labor are keen on letting the people finally have their say on.
            Bye, Bye carbon tax, labor, greens and indies, hit 4 with one strike of democracy.

    • London Calling says:

      12:20pm | 21/07/12

      ’ carbon tax, will be for nothing anyway when in about 300 days time’

      Clive Palmer is meant to be taking court action on the carbon tax (whatever happened to/with that).

      Made me realise/think ‘WTF, don’t you trust Tony Abbott to do as he says’.

    • Nikraf says:

      12:37pm | 21/07/12

      don’t forget splash that the mug you want to put in has its own carbon tax that is just as bad as you think this carbon tax

    • splash says:

      01:53am | 22/07/12

      London, and Nikraf,
      Talk what shit you like,
      but the fact is a Mandate will be in play to Abolish the tax if the Libs get elected at the next election.

      The people will get to decide the fate of this tax, not some arsehole politicians.
      The Majority will rule and all carbon tax lovers will bowdown and accept what the majority decides,
      Again labor and the greens are shitting themselves, knowing that the people will decide the fate of the carbon tax.
                                Long live Democracy.

    • pa_kelvin says:

      11:59am | 21/07/12

      Was it Rudd or Gillard that stated that if the States could not get their act together Re public health that the Govt would take over???? Here’s their chance.

    • LuckyCountry says:

      12:11pm | 21/07/12

      Once I voted Labor.  Now I vote Liberal.

    • Nikki says:

      12:20pm | 21/07/12

      The author opens with “If you transferred millions from a public hospital budget to the Cayman Islands, it would be a national scandal. But transferring the same millions to Canberra in the name of a carbon tax has evoked not a whisper from our four Labor states and territories.”

      Let me add to that: “And nobody seems to question the inevitable transferral of approximately $57 billion of Australian tax dollars offshore, in exchange for chimerical ‘Carbon Credit Offsets’ through a currently non-existent international trading scheme.”

      Fifty-seven BILLION dollars of Australian sovereign wealth. Given away for absolutely nothing in return.

    • Steve Bailey says:

      04:41pm | 21/07/12

      What astounds me is that they publish articles by people who either don’t understand or don’t wish to understand the subject of what they are writing about, the premise is I don’t like the carbon tax so ii’ll make something up to prove my point.
      Also most of the responses here also seem to lack an understanding of how it all works, you’ve got a choice between the coalitions hideously expensive and inefficient direct action policy or the almost universally agreed cheapest solution an ETS, it’s a no brainer on which is the best policy, people do the research and think for yourselves before you make a terrible mistake.

    • Richard says:

      05:26pm | 21/07/12

      The Coalition’s Direct Action policy is superior to the Government’s ETS, Steve, because under Direct Action, Australian money stays in Australia and is used to reduce our own endogenous emissions.

      This contrasts with the ETS, which by 2015 will see tens of billions of Australian dollars being shipped off overseas every year to foreign countries like China and India.

      What’s worse, many of the Chinese and Indian set-ups generating Carbon Credits have been shown to be rorts and frauds. How exactly is a plan to enrich every Chinese and Indian Carbon Fraudster a better policy than one which keeps Australian money inside Australian shores and uses it to strengthen our industry and economy and reduce our own emissions?

      The ETS is just a plan to outsource our responsibility to reduce our emissions to overseas shonksters, while the Direct Action policy is a plan to directly tackle our own emissions and reduce them by ourselves. Tell me, how come you think the irresponsible and dodgy Labor/Greens plan is better?

    • Steve Bailey says:

      03:54am | 22/07/12

      @Richard
      The direct action policy has been shown in a number of articles to be ineffective and very expensive compared to an ETS, the vast majority of economists agree an ETS is the least costly means of pricing carbon. We can’t control how others run their schemes but for the coalition to reach the agreed targets with their direct action it’s going to cost us a hell of a lot more.

    • Richard says:

      12:14pm | 22/07/12

      Yeah Steve, I’ve read those articles… Here’s one right here: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/carbon-tax/abbotts-direct-action-to-cost-double-that-of-labors-carbon-attack/story-fn99tjf2-1226128448888

      But, I mean, its just incredulous to me that the main complaint the economist in Treasury have against the Opposition’s Direct Action plan is that it WON’T be shipping tens of billions of Aussie dollars off overseas to every dodgy carbon fraudster in China and India et al.

      It boggles my mind to think that anybody can consider the Government forcing our industry to purchase of “international abatement permits” from acknowledged rorters to be anything other than an act of naked hostility against its own citizens.

      “Investigations have exposed numerous offset schemes as frauds, run by so-called “carbon cowboys” who exploit weak regulatory standards in developing countries where their projects are based.

      These offsets can perverse incentives. For example, one Chinese company generated $500 million in carbon offsets through incinerating the Hydro Fluoro Carbons produced by refrigerator manufacturing—an extremely potent greenhouse gas. The huge profits created an incentive to produce more HFCs in order to destroy them and claim more carbon credits.

      Alarmingly, HFC projects accounted for just over half of all accredited carbon offsets under the official UN scheme prior to the scandal emerging late last year.”

      http://www.solidarity.net.au/39/carbon-tax-offsetting-out-way-to-more-emissions/

    • Stephen says:

      04:47pm | 21/07/12

      In just one year of China’s GDP growth the amount of CO2 that they pump into the air increases by the ENTIRE Australian CO2 output.  So us continuing to grow our CO2 all the way to 2020 and aiming for a 5% reduction is total BS.  And the only way we will achieve that is buy spending $4 billion + to send overseas to the UN money brokers to buy carbon credits for the country.  Great for the UN and its buddies.  Doesn’t do anything for us or the world just moves money around.

    • Jill says:

      08:45am | 22/07/12

      “A spokesman for federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek described Dr Laming’s analysis as deceitful. “The Commonwealth Treasury and Department of Health and Ageing estimate that the impact of the carbon price will only be 0.3 per cent on hospital costs,” he said. “This is equivalent to only 1c for every $3 spent on hospitals.
      According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare:”

      “In 2009-10, an estimated $46.3 billion—about 3.6% of Australia’s gross domestic product or about $2,180 per person—was spent on Australia’s hospitals”
      “So a quick back of the envelope (on dated data):
      1/300 = 0.00333, then multiply that by 46.3 billion = 154.3 million. With about 85,000 beds across Australia that works out to $1815 per hospital bed on average – more or less what Andrew Laming estimates it to be”.

      “So it looks like the carbon tax will be adding $154.3 million dollars to the health budget without any contribution to improved health outcomes. It doesn’t actually matter if the Commonwealth is picking up the tab or not – spending on health is up and outcomes are unchanged”

    • ProfGold says:

      12:28pm | 22/07/12

      I read this blog for light relief - and it hardly ever lets me down. The bloggers are a laugh but the posters are a scream.  You get get more laughs here even than at Andrew Bolt’s site!

    • P. Walker says:

      03:28pm | 22/07/12

      After having read the comments, I find it difficult to imagine that life won’t go on.
      Come on, the tax is only paid by the big polooders, not us!
      Why in hell is Gil(liar)d paying some people all this compensation if that’s the case.  No one will be hurt she says, then stop taxing my more effing dollars woman.
      Yep, life will go on, after this government loses the election.  Who cares who you vote for, Governments are simply thrown out, not won, remember that.
      She has screwed me over , so bye bye you evil woman, I will never forget that!

      Tired of all the dependents dipping into my wallet, illegal economic so called refugees (not true asylum seekers) , dole bludgers (I know some of you are genuine) drug addicts and welfare handouts to bribe parents to parent.

    • Ron Vincent says:

      04:43pm | 22/07/12

      Dear, dear, me. Wouldn’t it be nice if just for once we could believe anything this government told us. Carbon Dioxide Tax, BER, Pink Bats, Illegal entry by “Q’ jumpers who threw their passports away; Citizens Assembly; Tax for flood recovery; Means Testing for Health Care; Nation Destroying Economic Policies; you could go on , but there is not enough space. NOW THE LATEST!!!, paying The $420.00 and $810.00 to families who don’t even have children at school. You would have thought they could have learnt a lesson after they found they had paid the famous $900.00 to dead people and thousands living overseas. And we have people commenting and making statements supporting this incompetent Labor crowd. God help us.

    • Uh oh. says:

      09:30pm | 22/07/12

      For every dollar increase in prices caused by the carbon tax there will be an additional 10c GST payment. Has anybody calculated how much extra GST the states will receive?

    • Sick of the BS says:

      10:04pm | 22/07/12

      What i find odd is the people who claim there is no global warming,its all a farce. For the Victorians here,what were you saying on Black Saturday in regards to this issue? Yes,the past year has seen us in a la nina weather pattern,so temps lower rain fall higher….wont last for long! How many of you seriously believe that mankinds mass pollution of our environment has no impact on the worlds ecosystem? Seriously now,you cant be that fkn stupid to think we are having no affect burning fossil fuels as we do!? Is the carbon tax the answer to all our problems? I doubt it,but at the very least its a step in the right direction. All the naysayers keep banging on about how the carbon tax will be the end of us all,really? Theres not much point in the entire populace being broke and unable to pay any tax on anything whatsoever is there?

    • P. Walker says:

      07:19am | 23/07/12

      @Sick of the BS, If you believe that the tax will stop the bush fires, it wont.  If you think it will cool the planet down, it wont.

      However you did hit on one point and that’s the world’s population.  I’d be happy if all the tax went to those countries dramatically reducing their birth rates.  Proof would be needed of course.  And of course we could not have any of the fools responsible for that proof outlined by Ron Vincent above.

    • Inky says:

      02:00pm | 23/07/12

      “Thankfully the four Coalition states have now completed their carbon tax analysis.”

      And it’s a good thing they’re here to save us all. Yeah, this is about where I stopped reading, I saw where this piece was going.

 

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