It has been speculated for some time that the newly returned Kevin Rudd may scrap the carbon tax.
Today’s Age reports Rudd has done so. This is significant for the debate about climate change and the policy response in Australia:
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is scrapping the controversial carbon tax.
A senior government source confirmed late on Saturday that Labor would move to an emissions trading scheme by next July.
Tony Abbott accused Mr Rudd of trying to deceive Australians into believing he was backing away from a carbon tax which had slugged Australian families and businesses.
”Mr Rudd can change the name but whether it is fixed or floating, it is still a carbon tax,” the Opposition Leader said. ”It is still a tax on electricity bills which will still hurt families and still hurt local families.”This is just an election trick from the Prime Minister, who has always wanted families to pay the carbon tax.
”Only the Coalition will do the right thing by families to reduce their cost of living by scrapping the carbon tax, lock, stock and barrel.”
Abbott is of course worried. As Rudd has just knocked out what was the core of his message these past three years.
“Great Big Emissions Trading Scheme” is a less effective slogan. And it’s more than three words.
Hmmmm, not quite as catchy as “Axe-the-tax!”.
What have I been saying about the LNPs climate policy being a mess and genuine risk to their election prospects? Goodness, they may have to come up with something sensible rather than simple opposition.
Sky News also reports, but it would appear we’ll be moving to a floating price on carbon:
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is reportedly set to announce plans to scrap the carbon tax as he prepares for an election.
News Ltd reports that under the plan to be announced by Mr Rudd within days, the fixed $24.15 per tonne carbon tax will be dumped in favour of a floating price of between $6 and $10 per tonne to ‘ease cost of living pressure for families’.
The decision is predicted to slash electricity bills by up to $150 a year for families spending $2000 annually and also cut costs for business.
Federal cabinet was already considering fast-tracking the introduction of an emissions trading scheme to July 1, 2014.
Australia had previously planned to move from a carbon tax to an emissions trading scheme by July 2015.
‘Economic modelling will show this will ease cost-of-living pressures for families and create jobs,’ a government source said of the shift to scrap the tax, News Ltd reports.
‘This is about transitioning the economy from a post-mining boom world to a more competitive agenda.’
A shift from a fixed to a floating price looks set to blow a large hole in the federal budget, costing billions of dollars a year.
But the government’s razor gang is reportedly preparing tough spending cuts to offset reduced revenue, News Ltd reports.
- The move neutralizes the cost of living concerns (unjustified) voters had about the “tax”
- Rudd’s move takes from Abbott and the LNP there most effective line of attack on Labor
- It gives Labor even more clear air to talk about policies as well as bringing renewed focus on the LNP’s climate policy (or lack thereof)
- There will be lots of talk about this in the media and blogosphere (/wink)
- The most important question is will the new scheme work and help reduce emissions?