Posted by: Bruce | November 29, 2013

P.M. Tony Abbott and his clever carbon carrot.

A tax is still a tax by any other name.

And so it is, from my stuffed political armchair I venture an opinion on the removal of the carbon tax, by Tony Abbott P.M.(Lib).

The sky is falling?

The sky is falling?

Despite the excellent scare campaign by Tony Abbott as Opposition Leader, the sky didn’t fall after the introduction of the carbon tax by the then Labour Gov’t. On the contrary, it wasn’t hard to find some acceptance (or perhaps a fait accompli) in Australia and favourable reviews of a carbon tax in other countries.

Having a carbon tax was to be temporary though. An Emissions Trading Scheme apparently was the best way to go. This was favoured by John Howard (Lib. PM) and Malcolm Turnbull (Lib. Opp.Leader) before Mr Abbott. The Labour government was to replace the Carbon Tax with an ETS in July 2014 but were booted before this could happen. Tony Abbott does not favour an ETS and instead is proposing his Direct Action Plan.

Finding favourable reviews on ETS’s is not so easy. In Europe, our carbon price yardstick (wasn’t Australia praised for leading the way?), the ETS has fundamental problems. From my basic research as a voter, it appears I could buy into the ETS via the stockmarket and help reduce pollution by trying to make money selling permits to pollute. Sounds somewhat weird.

The clever carbon carrot; a pledge to legislate

When Bob Hawke (Lab) ousted Malcolm Fraser (Lib), one of his promises, if elected, was to reduce the price of fuel. Taxes on fuel had increased enormously by the Fraser government introducing Oil Parity Pricing under the guise of something other than a tax.

Fuel price always gets to voters. Hawke knew this and dangled the cheaper fuel carrot which helped sweep him to power. The pathetic reduction in fuel price by the Hawke government was an insult. Why kill such a great cash cow brought in by the Liberals?

abbottmandate Google

Tony Abbott, left. Kevin Rudd, gone.

I think Tony Abbott achieved the same voter attention by dangling the carbon tax carrot. If he gets past the Senate, maybe, I wonder what cost to dismantle the carbon tax before shortly implementing the Direct Action Plan he proposes? What is known of Liberal’s answer to the carbon tax and ETS by Labour? Not much by me for starters. Tony Abbott has cleverly managed to divert attention away from his Direct Action Plan and now I have an idea why. The last link below is to an article on ABC news by Ben Eltham, ‘A close look at Abbott’s Direct Action Plan’.

Reads a little like a nightmare to me, gives me the headspins. If all is approximately accurate then this scheme will be hugely expensive and ineffective, making the Labour schemes look great in comparison. What a choice, or should I say, non-choice? Come in spinner.

The P.M. was on a vote winner here, from the start. The carbon carrot helped get him into power and if dismantling the carbon tax fails he’ll still save face because he fulfilled his pledge to try. An alternative Liberal scheme will follow shortly after, one way or the other. In addition to the carbon tax issue I wonder if he has any carrots left in his diplomatic bag?

From the land of Tony Abbott came ‘Stop the Boats’ and ‘Stop the Carbon Tax’.

Now it could be  ‘Stop the Leaks’.

Words for today;       Con… a confidence trick, scam or flim flam. Stop the tax.

More to come;     same blog time, same blog channel


  1. Not a fan of Tony Abbot, less of a fan of that weasel Bill Shorten, but if you are to have opinions about anything, then you need to expand your reading a bit. The ABC has tossed out all conservatives and speaks with one voice.


    • Hi Mary. I did leave some room for doubt by saying ‘if all is approximately accurate’ in the report via the ABC. A reader couldn’t help but notice that the report pointedly bagged the Liberal scheme. Nevertheless, if the basics are approx. correct then it sounds messy at a minimum. Each party will do what’s popular but with their ‘own’ new and improved version. What a load of cobblers from all of them. Thanks for commenting; you’ve been busy on other writing?


      • Darn it, Bruce, how did you know? I wanted to distance myself completely from that other blog. It began as a grandma type blog and mutated. I thought I might start afresh and be somebody else. On the other hand I didn’t want to give up all my blogger pals. Was it that that clued you in?


      • Mary, there were a lot of things that let me know it was probably you. The name Mary was a pretty good clue. The clincher though was calling Bill Shorten a weasel. Hope your other blog goes well.


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