Too frightening for words. Henry Ergas has a bone-chilling warning.
It takes time to get a feel for how spectacularly insidious the Australian carbon tax could be.
Firstly there’s the anti-democratic nature of it: apparently Gillard is doing things that are considered utterly beyond the pale in other nations. Ergas suggests that by granting “property rights” she is threatening to make the cost of removing her legislation all but insurmountable. (For all the world, it appears she’s determined to stop the opposition offering the people the choice to remove the carbon tax. Could it be, that for the sake of an advantage in the next election campaign she’s tossing the country down the nearest black hole?)
Secondly, the Australian Carbon Tax is a freakishly large sacrificial offering: Australians will be hit for $391 for every man, woman and child, and that’s just the first year (according to the government estimates). Compare this to the EU. There in the land-of-exploding-economies, each good citizen has had to fork out the vast grand sum of (wait for it) … one dollar fifty cents each (yes, $1.50). And, it gets worse, (how do you satirize this?) — that’s the cumulative total since the EU started trading in 2005.
It’s not like we want to copy EU economic policies in the first place, but why take something that doesn’t work, and outdo it by 3000%?
Hello to the new global patsies!
‘The EU was aiming for a global scheme, but only Australia and New Zealand were daft enough to join them in their carbon follies — the rest of the world is backing out the exits. The Europeans get China to do their manufacturing and thus emit their carbon emissions for them, so they pay virtually nothing. But we are the land of coal-gas-iron and aluminium, we are emitting for the world. Is this the new cultural cringe in Australia?
The former democracy known as Australia…
The carbon tax will affect virtually every part of our national activity, and is one of the most sweeping economic transformations to hit the country ever (suicidal is the word). There are 18 pieces of legislation, and 1100 pages. (Insert manic laugh…). Yes, we-the-citizens have one Earthling week to “comment”. Bhahahha ha ha….ha….. (Go on. Laugh til you throw up. One week.)
(See the bottom of this post for the links. Please! Bring out your uber caffeine and read those docs.)
Is it possible that a strong modern democracy could decay so fast? Could a government run for an election, specifically promise not to do something, be barely elected, then do it, and worse, do it in such a way that even when the people finally get the chance to vote NO — it can’t be unwound without inordinately crushing costs?
On this economic transformation, there was no debate, not of the science, nor of the policy. And if news outlets, and even new media, are forced to hold a license, there may never be one. We need an election (and by next Tuesday). What are the odds?
In Henry Ergas words is a message we can’t ignore.
IT was Mark Dreyfus QC, Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change, who let the cat out of the bag.
Once the carbon change legislation is in place, he said, repeal would amount to an acquisition of property by the commonwealth, as holders of emissions permits would be deprived of a valuable asset. As a result, the commonwealth would be liable, under s.51(xxxi) of the Australian Constitution, to pay compensation, potentially in the billions of dollars. A future government would therefore find repeal prohibitively costly.
That consequence is anything but unintended. The clean energy legislation, released this week, specifically provides that “a carbon unit (its generic term for a right to emit) is personal property”.
This, the government says, is needed to give certainty to long-term trades. But that claim makes little sense, for even without such protections there are flourishing markets for fishing quotas and other tradeable entitlements.
Other governments have ensured that property rights are NOT created. This would cost billions upon billions to unwind. It would give some people money for doing nothing, an instant gift, at the expense of everyone else.
And internationally, governments have generally ensured pollution permits are not treated as conventional property rights, precisely so as to be able to revise environmental controls as circumstances change. Rather, this provision serves one purpose only: to guarantee any attempt at repeal triggers constitutional requirements to pay compensation, shackling future governments.
Worse, the people who benefit may have contributed absolutely nothing to Australia. The money is going to the former parties of the USSR.
Again, revered customs that normally protect democracies are tossed out the window:
To describe such poison pills as unusual would be an understatement. Provisions that merely hinder future parliaments have long been viewed as abhorrent, as they undermine the democratic process
The Labor Party is destroying the power of the people to choose anything other than their own “anointed” plan.
They are throwing away 100 years of goodwill and reputation, and writing themselves into history as the Party that tried to destroy democratic Australia. Are they following the Complete Totalitarian Handbook?
Help! Are there any legal experts out there who can see a High Court Challenge that can stop this trainwreck?
The carbon tax bills are here:
One week to let them know what you think!
Michael Petterson comments: Despite Julia Gillard making it as hard as possible for Australians to have their say on her carbon tax, I urge Australians to make their views known by lodging a submission, no matter how brief. Written submissions must be received by next Thursday, 22 September. They can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to the select committee care of Parliament House, Canberra.
Thanks to Bulldust and Madjak, Eric too, yes, I too saw the alarms going off in the morning paper.
UPDATE: Please email your representatives! Email list for the Australian Parliamentary Representatives
Simon at Australian Climate Madness explains with a lawyers eye, “that it’s a general principle in constitutional law that the “sovereignty” of Parliament ensures that a future parliament cannot be bound by its predecessor.”