Monday, July 11, 2011

Any one for taxing carbon?

In Australia, they have just taken a decision to introduce a carbon tax. The scheme was not easy to ram through. It is surrounded by all sorts of gives and takes, to sweeten the pill. However, the mining industry in Australia has now come out with a statement that it will cost millions of dollars.

In South Africa, we don't need industry to tell us the costs of a carbon tax - Treasury does the job for us. Its discussion paper says "The effects on GDP under the different non-closure and closure scenarios demonstrate that GDP declined by 0.5per cent and 13.9per cent respectively" (para 151).

Australia is a developed nation with a GDP per person of $38510 in 2010; we are developing, with a GDP per capita of $10280. We cannot afford a carbon tax. It will stop our development.

We need to create wealth to raise up our people, not to throw it around feeling good that we are doing our bit to save the world. We could stop all use of fossil fuel tomorrow - the economy would die, people would starve, and the world would not notice the difference our sacrifice had made.


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