The announcement of a $42 billion stimulus package, which provides thousands of dollars to families earning up to $200,000 and almost nothing to the long-term unemployed, is evidence that the Rudd Government like the Howard Government before it is distinguishing between 'worthy' and 'unworthy' recipients of government assistance.
Government and Accountability
The unfortunate reality is that, having waited a decade for a government to express a willingness to do something about climate change, we are now faced with a choice between a policy that locks us into failure by dictating that emissions in Australia cannot fall by more than five per cent and abandoning the CPRS altogether. What could we do instead? The simplest thing to do in the short term is to introduce a carbon tax of around $25 per tonne. As luck would have it, the administrative infrastructure the government needs to run the CPRS is almost identical to that required for a carbon tax.
Burying bad news in the media.
The impact of climate change on new businesses.
The Government's new human rights consultation.
Hugh Saddler and Helen King examine the difficulties implicit in applying emissions trading to agriculture; Josh Fear reclaims your time from the telemarketers and examines the superannuation industry in Australia; David Richardson explains how accelerated depreciation would help the renewable energy industry; Richard Denniss looks at a new top tax rate; John Langmore asks whether we want to bolster our military capacity or pay for a good health service.
The new solar rebate announced by Peter Garrett will not reduce Australia's emissions by one kilogram below the five per cent emissions target announced in the White Paper because, under the CPRS, the unfortunate reality is that every time households reduce their energy use or install solar panels, all they will be doing is freeing up permits, which will in turn allow big polluters to increase their emissions.
The Choice of Fund Policy has failed to resolve widespread consumer disengagement with superannuation. As few as four per cent of workers switch super funds each year and around half of this is 'passive' choice due to job change or fund closure. Choice of Fund has also been largely unsuccessful in lowering the number of multiple accounts, one of the most serious problems for superannuation policy-makers and consumers.
The proposed CPRS announced by the Prime Minister is one of the most generous industry assistance packages in Australian history and should be known as the Carbon Polluter Rescue Scheme. What began as a scheme designed to make polluters pay has evolved into a scheme in which the polluters get paid billions of dollars.
A major flaw in the ETS.
Thinking long term.
Emissions trading will impose a 'floor' below which emissions cannot fall as well as a 'cap' above which emissions cannot rise. When the government has decided on an acceptable level of pollution, it will issue a corresponding number of pollution permits. If households use less energy and create less pollution, they will simply free up permits to allow other families or other industries to increase their own emissions.
The introduction of an Australian emissions trading scheme in 2010 makes it pointless
for households to reduce their energy use.