July 14, 2014
So the Coalition's proposed policy switch from carbon pricing to Direct Action this week amounts to a shift from taking money from polluters and distributing it to taxpayers to taking money from taxpayers and handing it out to polluters. The Coalition is increasing corporate welfare for the big polluters such as the fossil fuel industry.
The significance of the carbon tax fear campaign that was waged by the Coalition and business is to trash tomorrow in order to make profits today. The Coalition calls it 'rescuing the country.'
Now Abbott did claim that grocery prices would go up by $10 a week with a carbon price; that the price of a new home would jump $6000; and that the cost of running a farm would leap $12,000 a year. Yet the carbon tax has played only a small part in the increase in power prices and so getting rid of it won't fix the problem.
What happens when people begin to realize that carbon pricing was not a wrecking a ball for the economy, and that electricity prices will continue to rise after carbon pricing is gone? When it is realized that it is the networks pushing up prices and increasing their profits despite the decrease in consumer demand.
The real problem is that the prices the networks are allowed to charge – whether government or privately owned – are regulated by government authorities. Loopholes in the price regulation regime have made it easy for the network businesses to feather their nest at the expense of consumers.
Will the Coalition push to reform the electricity pricing arrangements?
People's main concern and fear is becoming unemployed. They need to pay the rent or mortgage and put food on the table, and they have cause to worry because the growth in jobs is not keeping up with the growth in people looking for them. There is a growing disconnect between economic growth and increasing employment. Is this going to be a jobless recovery?