Australians raising electricity rates by 23 percent, Includes Carbon Tax to Save the Planet

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 7th, 2012

Week in Review

Utility prices are always a political hot potato.  No matter where you are.  Currently in Australia they’re talking about eliminating pricing measures in place that have been keeping rates below actual costs.  Doing so, though, will hit consumers with a huge increase in electricity rates which isn’t going to make anyone happy (see Power prices to rise more than 23 per cent by Daniel Mercer posted 4/5/2012 on The West Australian).

Electricity prices are likely to rise much further than the 23 per cent hike flagged by WA’s economic regulator after Premier Colin Barnett dismissed calls for cross-subsidies for country towns to be scrapped.

The Economic Regulation Authority released a long-awaited report yesterday into the tariffs of State-owned electricity retailer Synergy, showing households were still paying significantly less for power than it cost to provide.

According to the ERA, consumers would have to pay 23.1 per cent more power before prices reached “cost-reflective” levels, driving primarily by the need to remove the discount applying to prices and the incoming carbon tax.

What’s really interesting, of course, is that last bit about a carbon tax.  A 23.1 percent increase in utility rates won’t help any elected government at the next election.  So they’re going through political gymnastics about who not to anger.  Those receiving the subsidies.  Or those paying the subsidies.  And while they’re trying to keep the cost of electricity down so people can use it without going broke the federal government is implementing a carbon tax to make it more expensive so people do go broke if they use it.  To save the planet.

Mr Barnett said this morning that while no decision had yet been made about the size of forthcoming utility price hikes, his Government would not be responsible for the effect of the tax.

“We are doing all that we can to keep the increase in the price of electricity to a minimum and by that I mean something around or just above inflation,” he said.

“The carbon tax – that’s a Federal Government tax.

“And remember I don’t support the carbon tax, the Liberal Government does not support the carbon tax but the whole ideas of the carbon tax – Julia Gillard’s idea – is you raise the price of electricity so people use less of it.

“So the whole purpose of a carbon tax is to raise electricity prices.

“I don’t support that, I think it’s a flawed and failed policy.”

While the local government is trying to save the people by making electricity more affordable the federal government is saying screw the people.  We need to save the planet.  Which is rather silly.  For the planet is far cleaner than it was during the Industrial Revolution.  And here we all are a century or so later.  Alive and well from the affects of the Industrial Revolution.  When smoke, soot and ash covered our cities from coal-burning steam engines powering our factories.  When some people were so filthy that they coughed soot and ash.  They may have died young.  But the planet that bore them is alive and well.  So I think it’s time to stop with some of the silliness.  And allow people to live on this planet.  Especially now that it is cleaner than ever. 

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