Mission Impossible? Australian Politics Style

Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Today marks the start of mission impossible, Australian politics style, as the federal government tries to sell the Carbon Tax to the people. Judging by the opinion polls conducted after the introduction of this new tax, it will definitely be a tough challenge. Never before have we seen so many people disillusioned with a government policy as we have with this one and the polls have reflected this time after time, with support for the government reaching incredible lows.

So can we believe what the government says about this tax and how it will effect us? Going by the track record of Prime Minister Julia Gillard I think not. After all she did say before the last election that we would not have this tax anyway. She also said that she would not move into the lodge until she was elected Prime Minister by the Australian people. Quite funny now how her position has changed on both of those subjects. We are now faced with the tax we were never going to have and Ms. Gillard lives in the lodge even though it was only by doing a deal with the independents that she was able to form a government and not by being elected by the people.

"But the Carbon Tax price is only being charged to around 300 of the countries 'Biggest' polluters." This is the story we are getting from members of the government to attempt to win people over in time for the next election due towards the end of 2013. Really! Do they think that the Australian people are that gullible? Do they seriously think it wont create a roll-on effect to everything? Are they really that far removed from reality to believe that it won't impact on the whole of the economy and the cost of living for Australian Families? Simple questions you may say, but try getting a simple answer, or even better, a truthful answer from members of the government.

The most obvious industry for them to place this tax on is of course the Power Industry, especially with most of the country using coal to generate electricity. Even if they moved away from the use of coal towards other so-called environmentally friendly options as the government want, it would still have a massive impact on the community because the power companies are already charging a premium to customers who choose this option prior to the introduction of the Carbon Tax. Imagine if this was the only option left? How much extra would we be paying for electricity then?

Now this is only one industry that I have highlighted here that will be directly impacted by the Carbon Tax. But there is good reason that this industry was chosen to highlight the impact on the economy as a whole. Because no matter what industry you look at, they are all reliant on electricity in some way or set their prices factoring in the cost of electricity to their business. Even if a business does not require the use of electricity to perform their normal daily functions, a large percentage of their suppliers do. This will then cause a snowballing effect as the extra costs get passed on down the line until the poor old consumer ends up bearing the brunt of it all.

Ok, so the government says that the assistance packages that are being handed out to families will help ease the burden of the new tax on their cost of living. But how will that assistance help when companies can no longer afford to remain in business and close down causing thousands of people to lose their jobs? Or if they don't close down, reduce their workforce numbers also resulting in job losses? These assistance packages are just a feeble attempt by the government to try to buy back a few of the votes that they have lost with the introduction of this tax in the first place.

Predictions by the government say that for the financial year 2012/13, inflation will only increase at a rate of 0.7%. How can this be possible when it is currently sitting at around 2-3% mark at the moment? One possible way for this to be true is by the Carbon Tax causing mass lay-offs of workers, meaning people will not have any money to spend and prices will not be able to rise very much over this time. Businesses will be trying to at least get some sales rather than none at all and would be forced to keep prices down to a level that works for there turnover targets.

The opposition has said that the next election will be a referendum on this new tax and that the Australian people will voice their opinion by the way they cast their vote come election day. The best thing for the country is to not have to wait for the next election, but to have a referendum now, or even better, force an election now, so that Ms. Gillard and friends can see just how unhappy the Australian Public is with this government. Maybe then they will understand that you do not get anywhere in life by misleading people and that eventually, every con-artist will have their judgement day.

By Leigh Leishman