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Prime minister blogs lyrical about carbon pricing scheme
06/07/2012 - Prime Minister Julia Gillard has defended Labor's carbon tax compensation package and rejected nuclear power as a clean energy option, during an hour-long blogging session.
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Gillard sat down at a computer in The Herald-Sun newsroom in Melbourne on Thursday to answer random questions from readers about the carbon pricing scheme, which began on July 1.
Pensioner Vivienne Skeen wrote: "I am a pensioner. The compensation already given to me has gone!"
Gillard wrote back that the government's carbon tax assistance was ongoing.
"You will have received the first payment by now and you will receive on-going assistance in your regular pension. And the assistance is indexed so it keeps pace with cost of living changes," she replied.
Self-funded retirees asked how they would be compensated.
"If you live off investment income then you are going to benefit from the tax cut," Gillard wrote.
Asked why she initiated the policy, the prime minister said she had always believed climate change was real and caused by carbon pollution.
Pressed by reader Todd on why she "lied" about bringing in the tax at the last election, Gillard wrote: "Todd when I said those words I meant every one of them."
"During the election campaign I spoke about the need to price carbon and have an emissions trading scheme. And now we are pricing carbon."
Another reader, Rob, suggested the carbon tax was already working because Melbourne's weather had been colder since its introduction.
"Rob it's not as simple as that," she wrote.
Asked why "carbon neutral" nuclear power was not on the government's agenda, Gillard said: "Australia is in a different position. We have abundant sun, wind, tide and geothermal. We have so many natural advantages we can be a clean energy leader."
The Labor leader defended the impact on businesses competing with those in countries without a carbon tax.
"We are supporting our trade-exposed industries so they will still be globally competitive," she said.
The final remark was from Stephanie, who hoped people would start to understand carbon pricing.
"I just wanted to say that I am glad you went ahead with the carbon tax, despite the fearmongering and ignorance from other politicians, the media and the public," she wrote.
Gillard said she could not have put it better herself.
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John Beahan | 6/07/2012 10:21 1
Carbon dioxide is not a polutant, it is a natural gas that is plant food, and is required to to sustain life, without it plants die we die
dave d | 6/07/2012 10:38 2
Would you believe this woman - Snake charmer extrordinaire!!
alan | 6/07/2012 11:04 3
Ms Gillard (I nolonger call you my Prime Minister)you are a lier. Carbon Dioxide is not a pollutant This tax is nothing more than your socialist ideology and Fabian Society ideology disguised under an enviornmental banner, this tax will do nothing for the envionment, the only thing it will achieve is "redistribute income" your words whilst sending many business to the wall. The only way I can describe my impression of you and Labor is one of utter disgust.
Bob | 6/07/2012 13:16 4
Ms. Gillard did a pretty good job there.
Kermit | 6/07/2012 15:22 5
Jul-Liar! Same propaganda, same bullsh*t.... If a tax has to be given back to people to compensate them what the hell was it put their for in the first place - to reduce the living standards of those above the welfare line...so it's designed to drive more people below the poverty line...that explains it now, I get it...reduce the living standards of the middle class...that fits exactly with the so called conspiracy theorists...I thought they were scaremongers so you said, but now Jul-Liar is admitting it's there do what we all thought...so it's not to reduce the impact of Climate Change after all....ONYA Jul-Liar...you finally did it, an extra Tax on the Middle Class! The truth of the story unravels.....
Peter Farley | 6/07/2012 15:42 6
Kermit all taxes change behaviour by making some things more expensive than others The tax prompts people to find ways of saving on fossil fueled energy and makes it more economical to invest in energy saving generally. If the middle class has the brains that have so obviously brought them higher incomes they can obviously figure out ways of reduce their carbon footprint and thus minimising the effect of the tax, it is not very difficult if you forget your hysteria and get on with the job
Kermit | 6/07/2012 16:09 7
Oh! as simple as that is it?...POOOF! everyone invests in energy saving devices using money that is gobbled up by the Tax to reduce their carbon footprint by 20% (electricity cost increase) a couple times a year .....and then miraculously no one is affected by the Tax...get real. It will take more than a good education to make that work...unless you have a magic calculator that the Chinese have not found yet...when were you expecting them to follow with their Carbon Tax to make this a level playing field so the magic you speak of will kick in?
dave d | 6/07/2012 16:27 8
Peter, I take it that you are one of the blind mindless fools that believe this Tax is actually to fund projects that ultimately make a difference , if this is so - why is Ju-Liar not imposing the Tax on everyone .Kermit has a very valid point and its people like you that blindly and stupidly follow without question that keeps encouraging her to rip off Taxpayers - one gathers that you are not one of the many that are going to be affected or are you simply a Martyr to a hopeless cause .
Kermit | 6/07/2012 17:03 9
Extra Tax is only a viable option when there is an booming economy ....if these mindless fools put their efforts into developing a smart way to kick start the economy to create wealth, the Tax bonanza (Income Tax) will provide all the funds needed. Add to this carbon (saving/minimising) incentives like the Chinese government are promoting to their businesses and the Carbon Footprint will be reduced in a positive manner - no need for a TAX. Jul-Liar's real need for Carbon Tax is to pay for their excessive spending disease. Imposing a new Tax on an ailing economy is pointless and counter productive...it reduces living standards and increases poverty. Forget the excitement of the "Mining boom" (fictitious) and take a look at the vibrance of the "REAL" economy (manufacturing and services)....you will note it is extremely sick indeed! No one is spending because they have NO MONEY or hasn't anyone seen the decline in retail spending! That's the true indicator of our vibrant- booming economy!
Peter Farley | 6/07/2012 18:18 10
Dave assumptions assumptions. I will not be getting any compensation and I will be paying the tax but I will gradually but more quickly than otherwise reduce my energy use by improving the efficiency of my house and car. Supermarkets in the UK have reduced their energy use per sq foot over the last 10 years by about 35%. Aircraft and cars have reduced fuel usage by similar amounts, even the latest Alumium smelters are about 15% more efficient than the oldest in Australia. China now generates enough wind and solar energy to run the entire Australian economy and has just quadrupled it's solar target by 2020. Japan has introduced a gross feed in tariff on 55c/kW hour British Columbia has a carbon tax of $35/tonne Sweden and Norway have carbon taxes in the order of $100/tonne. A modern Chinese coal power station releases half the CO2 and uses about half the coal of the worn out old plants we use in Victoria. Why can't we as the richest per capita country do our bit. As for retail spending you might like to check your facts, retail spending is growing maybbe not as fast as in the past but internet sales, telecoms, car sales and overseas travel are all at record levels, hardly really sick
Kermit | 6/07/2012 19:54 11
On the SA News this evening it was reported that AGL (energy provider) is experiencing around one household in four experiencing difficulties paying for energy (now). Users claim there is not enough money left in their budget to engage cost cutting technology and alternative energy infrastructure. With this Tax still in it's infancy, what will be the real cost! Where are the benefits and savings for next years 20% increase in energy to come from; another blanket or just suffer the cold. OK! for double income earners...what about Mr Average, the old, the poor and self funded retirees? I did not know the UK had a Carbon Tax 10 years ago!
Peter Farley | 6/07/2012 23:38 12
A few more observations. The UK has had various environmental taxes since 1991, Even now in its parlous economic circumstances it is pressing ahead with offshore wind aiming to have the largest offshore wind supply in the world, it is also investing in tidal and wave energy. It is also subsidising solar even though it is less than half as cost effective as it is in Australia. As 95% or more of the price rises from 2007 to the end of 2012 have nothing to do with the carbon tax the AGL customers who are already having difficulty cannot blame it on the carbon tax. Given that most of the low income earners you mention have been more than compensated for the tax and wholesale electricity prices are already falling and regulatory changes are in train to reduce the rate of growth of distribution charges, it is unlikely that after the end of this year electricity prices will rise faster than the rate of increase of pensions and benefits. However the cost of energy saving light bulbs, more efficient heat pump or solar hot water, door and window sealing etc. is becoming relatively cheaper.
Bill Koutalianos | 9/07/2012 12:20 13
Hi Peter Farley, we're all subjected to misleading propaganda and we're all inundated with various information bytes about wind energy in the UK. I've heard that wind farms in the UK are paid not to send electricity to the grid because it's too intermittent and unreliable. But let's assume for a moment that wind farms or off-shore wind farms could make some contribution to the UK's electricity needs. Note that the distances involved from production to consumption are perhaps a few hundred kilometres or less. So when a "Beyond Zero" academic activist presenter at a recent Canterbury Council carbon tax/future energy discussion, suggested in passing that wind farms in Western Australia can provide electricity to eastern states or vice versa when the need arises, glossing over the transmission losses and distribution network capital costs over thousands of kilometres, it clearly illustrates the difference between worthwhile information dissemination and activist propaganda. My only question is who is trying to destroy this country, and why?
Naren | 22/07/2012 13:15 14
You should claim the pro-rated amnuot you paid on the old property and any pro-rated amnuot you paid on the new property (often in advance of the year-end billing), then remember to make any necessary adjustments after official tax bills come out and get re-divided. In theory, you paid the taxes by giving the money to somebody else (or putting it into escrow for taxes) and you are allowed to assume they actually made the necessary payments to the necessary authorities. A lender holding tax escrow should give you an annual statement of taxes collected, held and paid out.
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