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All of this is problematic.
(i) The scientific consensus is that human-created climate change is occuring at a rate faster than accepted and that (a) the costs of remediation will grow the longer no one does anything about it; (b) we may be close to the tipping point, beyond which remediation may be impossible. Where will we live then?
(ii) Science is not optional. One may choose one’s options, but facts are less negotiable. Even for politicians.
(iii) If the conservatives oppose the use of market-based solutions, what sort of solutions will be acceptable? Direct intervention in the market? Huh? A strange moment in political history when the social democrats, the political greens and the left accept the use of market-based solutions, where the polluter pays, and the conservatives argue for the socialisation of the costs of pollution.
  • by: By Malcolm Farr, National Political Editor
  • From:
  • April 20, 2012 12:07PM


  • Carbon scheme will be scrapped within six months – Abbott
  • Lib Leader will call double dissolution if blocked in senate
  • Says voters will not miss out on pension increases, tax cuts

Tony Abbott

Opposition leader Tony Abbott has vowed to scrap the carbon price scheme. Picture: Kym Smith Source: The Daily Telegraph

The Opposition Leader said that if blocked in the Senate he would immediately call another election, a double dissolution, and invite the ALP to commit “suicide twice”.

“I won’t reduce the tax, change the tax, or redesign the tax. I will repeal the tax,” Mr Abbott said in Brisbane today.

The Coalition is maintaining its course to make the election scheduled for late next year a referendum on the carbon pricing scheme set to begin this July.

Mr Abbott ramped up his intentions to scrap the entire scheme if elected, and assured voters they would not miss out on pension increases and tax cuts to be funded by the scheme’s revenue.

“There is no mystery to this. Essentially, all that it requires is the passage of the repeal bill through the Parliament,” Mr Abbott said.

“After all, what is done by legislation can be undone by legislation.

“I don’t expect the Greens to support repealing the carbon tax. On the other hand, it’s hard to imagine the Labor Party, beaten in an election that’s a referendum on the carbon tax, committing suicide twice by resisting the new government’s mandate.

“If they do, there is a constitutional procedure designed for just this eventuality. It’s called a double dissolution. I would not hesitate to seek a second mandate to repeal this toxic tax. Indeed, it would be my duty to do so.”

Mr Abbott said that “because the electorate would double-punish the Labor Party for wilful obstruction, I expect that the repeal arrangements would be in place within six months.”

Mr Abbott dismissed the Government’s argument that scrapping the scheme would cost voters extra welfare payments and tax cuts which it plans to fund from pollution penalties paid by major companies.

“Well, the public aren’t mugs. They know that a tax cut paid for by a tax increase is a con, not a cut,” he said.

“The only way that taxes can sustainably be lowered is if government spending is lower or if the economy is larger.

“The Coalition can deliver tax cuts without a carbon tax because we will eliminate wasteful and unnecessary government spending and because lower taxes and higher productivity will boost economic growth.”

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