Damaging carbon tax propaganda
The debate about whether Australia should have a carbon tax looks set to rage on with Independent senator Nick Xenophon indicating he will support Tony Abbot’s pledge of repealing the carbon tax if he is successful at the next election. The propaganda surrounding the incoming tax has caused confusion amongst many.
Climate change and whether a carbon tax is the most suitable method for tackling it are big, complicated issues. These issues are indeed worthy of scrutiny, but all the uncertainty surrounding the incoming tax adds to the public’s general confusion about how the carbon tax will affect many facets of their daily lives.
Introduce the Schoolkids Bonus; a seemingly thinly veiled compensation for the carbon tax, and it is quickly becoming hard for the public to take everything in. Understandably, people are finding it hard to figure out how much (if any) extra they will be paying for everyday items such as petrol, food and electricity. For avoidance of doubt, there will be an increase to the price of electricity as a result of the carbon tax (differs by state; NSW report here), but the carbon tax is merely one factor contributing to higher electricity prices.
Then there are the other various rebates and tax breaks the government is offering in the hope of offsetting any increase in electricity prices by introducing the carbon tax. Check this out if you want an indication of what you may be eligible for under the government’s Household Assistance Package.
Preying on confusion
The end result of all the political argy bargy is a confused public. Unscrupulous people and companies have smelt an opportunity to increase their prices and pass them off under the guise of a ‘carbon tax’ by-product. This practice is immoral and the ACCC is rightly taking action against these dealings. The reports about cafe owners blaming price increases on a carbon tax that hasn’t been introduced yet may seem quite laughable, but there have also been more serious allegations where solar energy providers lure customers into purchasing ‘before the carbon tax hits’.
A call for transparency
The public have a right to know what the impacts of the carbon tax will be in plain English. Individuals and companies deliberately avoiding transparent practices in an effort to confuse customers should be held to account. Natural evolution will eventually sink in and companies that adopt transparent practices, including pricing, will emerge stronger in the long term.
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