Not showing the Carbon Tax on WA Electric Bills is Propaganda against the Carbon Tax

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 21st, 2012

Week in Review

The carbon tax sure isn’t popular in Australia.  For the proponents of the carbon tax want to hide the full extent of its cost to consumers (see PM accuses Barnett of hoodwinking on tax by Daniel Emerson posted 7/16/2012 on The West Australian).

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has reignited the Federal Government’s dispute with Colin Barnett over his refusal to allow information on the carbon tax to be inserted in electricity bills, accusing him of “hoodwinking” West Australians…

Ms Gillard said Mr Barnett was trying to solely blame the Federal Government’s carbon pricing, which will increase average power bills by about 10 per cent, for WA’s high electricity prices.

Mr Barnett has previously ruled out allowing the Commonwealth to insert information into Synergy bills, saying that would amount to “propaganda”.

Ms Gillard this morning said the average household would pay $3.30 extra a week on electricity as a result of carbon pricing, but Commonwealth assistance would be on average $10.10 a week.

“I want every West Australian, every Australian, to be able to judge the facts for themselves,” she said. “I have wanted in power bills in WA to see an insert that explains to people the impact on electricity pricing, the impact of the 10 per cent rise and also the assistance that’s available from the Federal Government.

“Unfortunately that won’t be happening because Premier Barnett, who has overseen a 57 per cent increase in electricity prices in this State, is hoping to not take responsibility for those increases but try and blame them on the Federal Government.

Confusing, yes?  Considering Ms. Gillard is more on the political left and Mr. Barnett is more on the political right.  So one would assume that Mr. Barnett would love to include the carbon tax as a line item on people’s electric bills.  So why doesn’t he?  And why would Ms. Gillard want to show the people a breakout of a new tax her government is adding to people’s electric bills?  Because there is more to the carbon tax than that the additional tax paid by the consumer.

The new carbon tax also imposes “a levy of Aus$23 (US$23.50) per tonne of carbon emissions on about 350 of the country’s top polluters.”  Apparently the federal government wants these polluters to pay this tax without passing it on to their customers.  Which, of course, they can’t.  As customers ultimately pay all taxes.  So it would appear that Mr. Barnett doesn’t want to include the tiny tax each and every customer is paying on their utility bill for it would mislead the people into thinking that was the full cost of the carbon tax.  Hence the “propaganda” claim.  The carbon tax will increase the cost of making electricity.  For this tax on the polluters is no different than an increase in fuel prices.  A cost born by the utility.  And passed on to the customer.

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