Wednesday 7 December 2016
It wasn’t so long ago that we had a ‘carbon tax’. One that over time would have become a Carbon Trading Scheme. The conservatives conveniently converted a statement by the then Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, into a lie and as a consequence we have lost years in an effort to tackle a great challenge.
Despite knowing it would be a political disadvantage Labor put the good of the country before politics and proceeded with a tax. The then Opposition Leader, Malcolm Turnbull, agreed with it and when replaced, because of his view, gave the Coalition a serve it deserved on its hopeless Direct Action Plan.
That an Oxford graduate, in Abbott, would call Climate Change a socialist plot does a great disservice to that esteemed university. But here we are years later with the conservatives contemplating a form of tax says it all about the Coalition.
As is predictable the right-wing members of his party are screaming and shouting over something that makes perfect sense to most people but a monumental crime of ideology to them. Those in the energy sector and the business community generally pleaded with both parties to stop the nonsense and come up with a bi-partisan plan to cut emissions over coming decades, including some sort of carbon price. Will Turnbull take the bull by the horns and confront the denialists. If he does he will get public support if he doesn’t it will just confirm his weakness. He has to do it sometime so why not now.
The Age headline read:
“Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull faces a fresh outbreak of party disunity over climate policy, with backbench MPs questioning the government’s timing, scope and tactics after a formal review of the Direct Action plan was finally announced”.
And doesn’t it make one angry that people like Abbott and Bernardi are at the forefront of these minds so ill-disposed to science.
But science and capitalism will win the day and nothing will stop them. If profit means the end of coal that’s the way business will go. Unstoppably so.
But whatever comes out of the report I don’t think the word ‘’Tax’’ will appear in any legislation.
Josh Freydenberg says his government:
” … is committed to adopting a non-ideological approach to emissions reduction to ensure we secure the lowest cost of abatement”.
If you take that seriously then by extension it would necessarily consider a carbon price, letting the market decide which technology wins at “the lowest cost”.
“Change sometimes disregards opinion and becomes a phenomenon of its own making. With Its own inevitability”.
2 Malcolm Turnbull may be spruiking his ability to get legislation like the ABCC passed. But at what price. Most participants believe it is so diluted as to render it useless. The Master Builders CEO said that it would have to be amended. There are so many concessions that the ones who benefit most are the Unions. The commission’s prerogatives have been diluted to such a degree that the commission was made ineffective. Senator Derryn Hinch may be content with his efforts, but business leaders say he was in fact badly misled and outmanoeuvred by union leaders and Australian Labor Party politicians.
He’s on a learning curve, you might say.
These were very hollow victories indeed.
3 Barnaby Joyce continues to confirm he is not intellectually up to the task of Deputy Prime Minister. As if his decision to move the nation’s agricultural chemicals and veterinary medicines regulator into his own electorate at a cost of $250 million wasn’t enough. We now find it was greatly influenced by celebrity gardener Don Burke over people in his own department. Like most things this government does its clear the move was never about what was best for the agricultural sector. He needed to win his seat. That was the real motive.
Sorry, I’m lost for words.
4 Senator Pauline Hanson said yesterday when referring to party member Rod Culleton:
“He’s not a team player at all. We can’t work with him, you can’t reason with him“.
5 The special Minister of State Scott Ryan has an independent review of MPs entitlements but is dragging his feet with recommendations for an overhaul. In the meantime there is a lot of activity in the sky’s with charter planes doing record business.
And former PMs are doing a bit of it also.
John Howard travel costs for the first six months of 2016 released by the Department of Finance show came to $152,968, followed by Bob Hawke on $83,371.Mr Howard incurred domestic air travel worth $14,378, followed by Mr Hawke with $9543 and Julia Gillard with $7872.Paul Keating doesn’t appear to fly much – his airfares were under $1500. – See more here.
6 Peter Dutton with the purchase of yet another property has expanded his impressive portfolio to six properties. Thank goodness I’m not a tax payer and not contributing to his wealth but I feel sorry for the silly buggers who are.
Many federal MPs have properties and it doesn’t go unnoticed. It beats me why the taxpayer should have to fund their wealth.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his wife Lucy have seven properties, including their Point Piper home, a Hunter Valley farm and New York apartment.
Nationals MP David Gillespie has 18 properties, including 17 for investment purposes.
Liberal MP Ian Goodenough has nine – three residential and six investment.
LNP MP Karen Andrews has six investment properties and one residential.
7 In an argument last week about what defines an Australian I came up with this.
Today the characteristic that most defines modern Australia is ‘diversity’. In all its forms, together with multiculturalism it defines us as a nation. People of my generation and later should divest themselves of their old and inferred racist superiority.
8 I didn’t get the opportunity to voice my view on the ‘sugar’ debate last week.
The suggestion that we should tax sugary soft drinks is a nonsense and unnecessary. It’s as simple as this. Science knows that the major cause of ill-health in society is the consumption of too much sugar, fat and salt. Mainly in fast foods. An enlightened society that wanted to save lives would simply legislate to, over time, reduce the amount of these killers in the foods we consume. Problem solved. It won’t happen for two reasons.
One, ideology and two, we are not an enlightened society.
9 When talking about the cost of living I think people get confused. There is a big difference between the cost of living and cost of lifestyle. A recent survey found that 56% of those complaining about the cost of living had taken an overseas trip in the same year. And a further 52% had reduced dining out from three to two times a week.
10 Another thing I missed last week was this headline on Sky News: “Barnaby Joyce vows LNP maverick George Christensen will become a cabinet minister”.
You know what? I wouldn’t be surprised in the least.
11 The Essential Poll has Labor on 52% and the Coalition on 48% with some interesting results on the “who is the better at” survey. Newspoll has them the same. However Turnbull’s approval rating has fallen 19 points this year to 41%.
My thought for the day.
“The ideas of today need to be honed with critical reason, factual evidence and scientific methods of enquiry so that they clearly articulate the currency of tomorrow”.