Car­bon tax spec­tre

Townsville Bulletin - - Voice Of The North - Opin­ion Chris Eas­taughffe, Wood­stock

RE­MEM­BER all those old ad­verts about the Smart State and the Lucky Coun­try?

Well, we’ve had our nat­u­ral dis­as­ters. Looks like were mov­ing on to the man­made ones.

The price of raw crude has hit its third high in 40 years. This is a di­rect re­sult of the tur­moil in the Mid­dle East. This is tur­moil which Amer­ica ap­pears to be keep­ing out of – maybe they’re learn­ing!

The cur­rent fo­cus of this Mid­dle East up­ris­ing is Libya.

Colonel Gadaffi, their dic­ta­tor, is un­der threat, the peo­ple are in the streets and a large num­ber of oil fields have ceased pro­duc­tion. This has driven the price of crude up.

This un­rest, if suc­cess­ful in Libya, may well spread to other oil-pro­duc­ing states.

Should this de­mand for more lib­erty and less gov­ern­ment con­trols spread, it may fur­ther hin­der oil pro­duc­tion.

A high crude oil price trans­lates to a rise in un­der­ly­ing in­fla­tion of con­sumer na­tions. In­fla­tion usu­ally means a rise in in­ter­est rates and a slow down in the world econ­omy. The world can­not af­ford to have the econ­omy slow, or fall back into re­ces­sion, so close af­ter the credit crunch.

And closer to home, what does the La­bor Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment ( with their Green al­lies stand­ing be­hind the PM in cam­era shot) an­nounce in this eco­nomic cli­mate?

Why, a new tax, a car­bon tax, an in­fla­tion­ary force to be in­tro­duced into the econ­omy.

I heard the PM be­rat­ing the Leader of the Op­po­si­tion, and his fi­nan­cial cre­den­tials, say­ing he wanted to fol­low New Zealand’s lead on eco­nomic strat­egy. But then again I also heard the PM say em­phat­i­cally there would be no car­bon tax in­tro­duced by a gov­ern­ment led by her.

This is the same Prime Min- is­ter who is over­see­ing an in­crease in the tax on LPG, which has lower emis­sions than petrol, and ethanol blend fu­els, in an­other piece of leg­is­la­tion.

So do they want us to lower emis­sions, or is this just pan­der­ing to the Greens so they con­tinue to sup­port a mi­nor­ity gov­ern­ment?

New Zealand in­tro­duced a car­bon tax some time ago ( 2005) – have a look at what econ­o­mists say about that fi­asco. The UK, and some other Euro­pean Union coun­tries, are also fine ex­am­ples of what hap­pens to economies with car­bon tax as one in­flu­ence. Com­pare a list of coun­tries with car­bon tax to a list of coun­tries with fi­nan­cial woes ( or need­ing bailouts by the EU, for Europe) – there is a cor­re­la­tion.

And guess who will pay the most for car­bon tax? Ru­ral prop­erty dwellers and small busi­ness – they travel fur­ther, use more fuel, don’t have pub­lic trans­port and rely heav­ily on fuel and elec­tric­ity.

Smart State, lucky coun­try.

VOLATILE: Peo­ple wait to flee Libya at the air­port in Tripoli as the un­rest spreads

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