A very brief rundown of the proposed carbon taxBY DIONNE LISTER
As most Australian know, the labour government is planning to introduce a carbon tax, but there is still a lot of confusion over what that will mean for the average person. I will admit now that I am not an expert and have not studied this in minute detail, but have read enough to be able to point everyone in the right direction. As to whether it is a good or bad thing, there are arguments for both.
The carbon tax will be a tax levied on companies that emit large amounts of carbon dioxide pollution from burning fossil fuels including coal, gas and oil. It is, effectively, a tax levied on pollution, which is supposed to encourage large polluters to find ways of reducing their carbon emissions and become more environmentally friendly. However, with most costs bourn by industry, they will be passed on as increased prices for consumers, e.g. our electricity bills will increase. The government has assured the public that any additional costs associated with this tax being passed to the end user (the public), will be covered by government payments, which are supposed to offset this cost. The problem, as I see it, is that the government doesn’t know how much these companies will increase their prices or even if they will strive to reduce their emissions. The government, at this stage, has said some of the money raised by this tax will go to help these companies invest in greener energy or processes.
The carbon tax is set to become an emissions trading scheme in three to five years. An emissions trading scheme, as I understand it, limits the amount of pollution the government will allow to be emitted in one year, with companies receiving permits, which are equivalent to the amount of pollution they can emit. If a company needs more permits because they can’t cut their pollution to the level of the permits, they can buy additional emission permits from companies who are being efficient and not utilising their share. This is a positive step because it has actual targets for the level of emissions Australia will produce, but how will it be monitored and will the carbon credits be so expensive that the cost will be passed on to the consumer, anyway.
At this stage I’m not for or against it as the government hasn’t given us enough information on what it will really cost, maybe they don’t know. I am, however, in favour of reducing carbon emissions. Other countries have emissions trading schemes in place with mixed results: some have increased emissions, some have decreased them and some have kept emitting the same level of pollution, so who knows if it will improve anything.
If you want to know more about this proposed tax, please visit the websites below as they have more detailed information than I am able to provide. I hope I have increased your understanding of this issue and thanks for reading.
For more information please visit:Other countries have emissions trading schemes in place with mixed results
Carbon Tax Explained- SMH
- Carbon Taxes, emissins trding and direct action- ABC News
- Greenpeace's Response to the Carbon Tax -Video podcast
- Beer price sting a carbon tax soon
- Factbox: Carbon taxes around the world - SBS World News
- Parliamentary Library
Carbon Tax Center- Why revenue-neutral carbon taxes are essential,
what’s happening now, and how you can help
Dionne Lister was born and raised in Sydney and apart from some minor overseas travel hasn’t moved anywhere else. She met her husband through surfing however has had no time for that lately because of her two young children, kindly bestowed upon her by said husband.
She is sensible and works to earn money, however loves writing in her spare time and wishes, as most creative people do, that she could earn her living from such a past-time. Dionne hopes her articles are informative and entertaining and would love some adoring fan-mail ;-)