Sunday, July 24, 2011

Carbon Tax - what real benefit?

The Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry has published this brief explanation of the proposed carbon tax in Australia: From July 1, 2012, up to 500 of the top carbon emitting companies will be charged $23 for every tonne of carbon they produce. This will cover up to 60 per cent of Australia’s pollution. This initial cost structure will run for three years, rising by 2.5 per cent a year in real terms, assuming annual inflation of 2.5 per cent (2013/14 ‐ $24.15, 2014/15 ‐ $25.40).

A full emissions trading scheme will then be implemented, allowing the market to set the carbon price.

Allowances and assistance will be made for a number of industries, particularly those heavy on industrial activities such as steel, aluminium, cement and zinc producers, and some manufacturers. A carbon price will not apply to fuel for off‐road and on‐road light transport used by the agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries. Households and small business will also be exempt from a carbon price on fuel.

The Government has committed to boosting its 2050 emissions reduction target from 60 percent to 80 percent. It is also targeting a reduction of between 5 and 25 per cent by 2020 (depending on the level of international action).

Taxing these top 500 companies does have implications for small businesses. An increased price for products and services because of the cost of the carbon tax will be passed on.

As a small agricultural business, we won't be directly subject to the tax, but we will obviously pay through increased electricity prices etc. etc. etc.

We still have not heard from the Government how our carbon positive type of production will be taken into account. Why should we be slugged just as hard as any other business which has taken no steps to reduce its carbon footprint?

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