This post was edited by sansukong at 2011-11-23 03:33|
Last Updated: November 23, 2011
Carbon tax to cost $1 trillion: committeeBy Paul Osborne AAP
October 07, 2011 1:38PM
THE federal government's carbon tax will cost every Australian $40,000 in the period to 2050 and a cost-benefit analysis should be conducted before it passes into law, an opposition-dominated Senate committee says.
The select committee on the scrutiny of new taxes on Friday tabled a 361-page report in parliament looking at whether a carbon tax should be brought in at a time of uncertainty about the global economy and whether there will be a concerted international effort to cut carbon emissions.
Labor's laws to establish in a fixed $23-per-tonne carbon price from July 1, 2012, before moving to an emissions trading scheme in 2015, are set to pass the lower house next Wednesday before going to the Senate for debate.
The committee found that under the government's own modelling the carbon tax would impose a $1 trillion cost on the Australian economy, or $40,000 per person.
"This is likely to be an underestimate given that Treasury's modelling relies on the assumption that other countries will act in concert with Australia to reduce emissions," its report said."
The government has provided no evidence that its policy provides benefits commensurate with these costs.
"Indeed, without global action, a carbon tax in Australia cannot do anything to mitigate the effects of climate change.
"A carbon tax will be all economic pain for no environmental gain."
The report calls for the clean energy legislation to be defeated in parliament, arguing the government had no mandate, Treasury modelling was flawed, it would undermine Australian businesses' ability to compete in the global economy, have a disproportionate impact on regional Australia and raise the cost of living.
If the bills were to pass, the committee said, they should not be written in a way that bound future governments from amending or rescinding the scheme.
And if parliament was to approve the bills, any move towards an ETS should only be done "once current global economic circumstances have improved and there is a legally binding global agreement on tackling climate change", the committee recommended.
A final recommendation called on the Senate - which is yet to debate the bills - to receive all Treasury modelling and an independent review of the modelling and a cost-benefit analysis by the Productivity Commission.
The committee said the emissions cap should be made disallowable and carbon permits not be private property.In a dissenting report, Labor committee members said the coalition majority report rejected the science of climate change and was "a recipe to do nothing".
"There is a sound economic basis for the implementation of a carbon price mechanism," the report said.
"Australia is not acting alone - the rest of the world is moving on carbon pricing."
The coalition's "direct action" alternative would cost at least $48 billion to 2020, the dissenting report said.
Labor members also defended the Treasury modelling, saying it was robust, comprehensive and gave detail on the likely outcomes of the introduction of a carbon tax.
The report said the long-term jobs and investment sparked by the scheme would "far outweigh any modest short-term costs"."
The Australian economy will continue to grow, incomes continue to grow and the carbon price mechanism will decouple growth from greenhouse gas pollution and achieve the bipartisan target of reducing emissions to five per cent below 2000 levels by 2020 and 80 per cent below 2000 levels by 2050," the report said.
The Senate report comes ahead of a joint select committee report examining the 19 clean energy bills and which is expected to be tabled later on Friday.AAP pjo/klm/mat