Talk:Carbon pricing in Australia

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Carbon tax regressive?[edit]

The lead sentence says that the carbon tax is regressive, citing TaxPack Australia [1] (which not the Australian Tax Office's TaxPack) as a reference. However a regressive tax is "a tax imposed in such a manner that the tax rate decreases as the amount subject to taxation increases". I question the reliability of TaxPack Australia, which appears to contradict itself by saying that (with my emphasis added)

... a tax on carbon emissions ... is a regressive tax ... because energy producers pass on their tax liability to all consumers, regardless of income .... The extra amount paid as a result of the tax is the same for everyone.

It appears to me that a carbon tax is a flat tax not a regressive tax.

As per the third para of Regressive tax, the carbon tax might be deemed regressive if "the activity being taxed is more likely to be carried out by the poor and less likely to be carried out by the rich" - but how is that the case with a carbon tax?

I suggest that we should remove the word "regressive" from the article. Or is our "regressive tax" article wrong? Mitch Ames (talk) 10:46, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

I'm not totally confident in my understanding of this, but if one considers the compensation and tax changes, the overall plan is not regressive. It probably should be removed as the reference is talking about carbon taxes in general without compensation. - Shiftchange (talk) 10:59, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't believe that the compensation payments and income tax changes affect whether the carbon tax itself - $23 per tonne, independently of tonnes emitted - is progressive, regressive or flat. If the compensation payments or income tax changes were directly calculated based on carbon emmisions - or consumption of carbon-polluting products - there might be a case for linking them, but I don't there is. Mitch Ames (talk) 11:52, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
The problem is that the carbon tax isn't a carbon tax. I said this over on the AusPol Wikiproject page and should probably have mentioned it here. Sure 'carbon tax' is what it is widely known as, but the price in the legislation isn't a Carbon Tax under the definition of the term - a tax implies that it is paid directly by consumers, the lead of the Carbon tax article talks about the regressive nature of carbon taxation - and I don't think the potential for flow on price increases falls under that definition - it would be like calling the company tax a regressive tax on low income earners because companies paying more tax causes increases in the cost of goods and services which impacts greatest at lower income levels. The fact is that what we have is an emissions trading scheme with 3 years of fixed price permits, under carbon taxes you pay directly for emissions (at the end use point), whereas this is a permit scheme where you pay for the right to make emissions, I think the following explains it well: Under the current fixed price period: "An unlimited number of permits will be available for purchase from the Government at the specified fixed price." ([2] p4) but after that the amount of permits available will be capped and then able to be traded at a floating price. I also propose a move of this article in line with this issue, to 'Carbon pricing in Australia' in light of the issue that calling this article 'carbon tax' has in explaining the actual meaning of the term. --GoForMoe (talk) 18:45, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
I would fully support these changes, especially if you took the time to explain it in the article. I used the word tax because so many of the articles did. Moving it to pricing seems better. - Shiftchange (talk) 05:03, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
It's not a regressive tax as a significant proportion of the income gained by it is being returned to lower income earners. The inclusion of 'regressive' in this context seems more intended to paint carbon taxation negatively. Mjharrison (talk) 10:58, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm of the opinion that the money "returned to lower income earners" is irrelevant because it is not part of the "carbon tax" per se. The income tax rates may change, and other handouts may occur, at the same time that the carbon tax begins, but the income tax changes and the handouts are not part of the carbon tax of $X per tonne of CO2. Mitch Ames (talk) 11:44, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
Looked a bit through the treasury modelling and found this: "Low income households are disproportionately affected by carbon pricing. They spend, on average, a higher proportion of their disposable income on emission-intensive goods, such as electricity and gas. For this reason, the average price impact for a single pensioner household in the lowest income quintile is estimated to be 1.0 per cent in 2012-13, while for a one-income household with no children in the highest income quintile the average price impact is estimated to be 0.6 per cent." 5.6.3 Distributional effects in [3]. --GoForMoe (talk) 06:27, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
This does not make it a regressive tax, unless the low income spend more in absolute terms (not a proportion of income) on emission-intensive goods. Mitch Ames (talk) 11:44, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that would make it a regressive tax. Read the article. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 04:17, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
And as the carbon tax article notes - "The regressive nature of carbon taxes can be addressed by using tax revenues to favour low-income groups" --GoForMoe (talk) 06:54, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
I did read the article - in particular the bit that says "if the activity being taxed is more likely to be carried out by the poor and less likely to be carried out by the rich, the tax may be considered regressive", hence my "unless the low income spend more in absolute terms ...". Could you please explain why the carbon tax is regressive - do poor people spend more in absolute terms on emission-intensive goods, or is there some other reason? Mitch Ames (talk) 14:22, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
Obviously, the article regressive tax is not written so that you understand it. I'll need to look at that. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 15:43, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
It is a carbon tax, no matter who pays it, or which government agency collects it. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 02:46, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
Hi Arthur. You don't seem to have understood the difference between a tax and a Market-based environmental policy instrument. The currency in Australia of the phrase "Carbon Tax" is the result of a sustained political campaign of misinformation by the Liberal Party, which is opposed to the present Government of Australia. Calling something a Carbon Tax does not make it one. --Greenmaven (talk) 11:27, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
The current version is a tax; payments are made by some carbon producers to a government agency, based on the about of carbon production. In three years, it becomes something like cap and trade, which is not a tax. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 11:34, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
There's a very fine but key difference - you are not paying a tax to a government agency, you are purchasing a permit from one. The distinction is important because you pay a tax in arrears but businesses covered by the carbon price need to purchase permits in advance "The carbon price mechanism requires generators to purchase ­carbon permits up-front for energy supply contracts" [4]. The only change after July 2015 is that the amount of available permits will be limited inline with the pollution target, which would then be auctioned rather than sold at a fixed cost. --GoForMoe (talk) 14:18, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
That's a distinction without a difference. Or are you going to claim that California's Corporation annual "fee" of $800 (credited against the income tax due the following year) is not a tax.... — Arthur Rubin (talk) 06:40, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
The distinction is that the permits are the same now as they will be after 2015, only the way they will be purchased and the supply will change. Indeed, you can already trade the permits, just because they are available at a fixed price, there's little incentive to do so. Rudd's CPRS had a one year fixed price period at the start [5]. It may be a 'great big new tax on everything' in a metaphoric sense, but not in its operation. --GoForMoe (talk) 13:13, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. Armbrust, B.Ed. WrestleMania XXVIII The Undertaker 20–0 04:25, 9 July 2012 (UTC)


Carbon tax in AustraliaCarbon pricing in Australia – Because of its current title this article refers to the mechanism put in place by the Clean Energy Bill 2011 as if it creates two systems for pricing carbon, the "tax" that will exist for three years, and as per the article "It will then change to a emissions trading scheme in 2015-16". Carbon Pricing is an umbrella term that can be used to describe both ways of operation and the transition that will take place and therefore a better term for the article to use. GoForMoe (talk) 06:58, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

  • Support - I agree with GoForMoe's summary. Mitch Ames (talk) 11:49, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment – To me, "carbon pricing" sounds a bit like a discussion of the price for purchasing carbon rather than for emitting it. The word "tax" seems like a more factually accurate description of the topic to me. But if that's what people actually call it most of the time, I do not object. —BarrelProof (talk) 04:29, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
That's what happens though, the carbon pricing scheme requires emitters to purchase emissions permits. --GoForMoe (talk) 08:42, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Carbon emissions permit pricing might be more accurate, but it is a bit wordy. Mitch Ames (talk) 12:18, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Per Carbon pricing being the article on the broader concept I think it's appropriate for this use. --GoForMoe (talk) 13:48, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Abbott's support for a carbon tax[edit]

I removed the following text from the article:

Following this report the Rudd Government announced the introduction of a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, which the Liberals initially supported with Malcolm Turnbull as their leader. However, prominent Liberal Tony Abbott questioned an ETS, saying:
"If you want to put a price on carbon, why not just do it with a simple tax? Why not ask electricity consumers to pay more, then at the end of the year you can take your invoices to the tax office and get a rebate? It would be burdensome, all taxes are burdensome, but it would certainly change the price of carbon, raise the price of carbon, without increasing in any way the overall tax burden."[1]

My view is this text might be more appropriate in the political response section rather than the history section. Also, I suggest that rather than providing the direct quotation of what Abbott said, it should be presented in the context of criticism of the opposition from the government and climate groups.Landscape goats (talk) 02:45, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

A Tax is a Tax is a Tax[edit]

Wow so much Labor POV spin in this article.

This is clearly a Carbon Tax as specified in the Wiki Carbon_tax article.

There are various claims on why this isn't a tax and seemingly with the sole purpose to try and cover up the lie by Gillard before the last election that there would be no Carbon Tax under a government she leads.

Now lets go through them one by one:

1. The Carbon Tax is not collected after emissions released but before emissions as a permit system therefore it can't possibly be a tax REALITY: Lots of taxes are collected before you get to use them, the most obvious is Road Tax which is a paid permit to allow you drive your car on the road for a set period. You pay this tax BEFORE you get to use the permit. So there goes that excuse.

2. The Carbon Tax is not collected by the ATO, it therefore can't possibly be a tax REALITY: Sticking to the same example, Road Tax(or Rego) is collected by the State Governments Transport Authority. Has nothing to do with the ATO... but it's still a Tax! Then we got state stamp duties, land tax(council rates), car transfer tax, etc etc etc. None of them collected by the ATO, but still taxes.

3. It's moving towards an ETS a few years down the track REALITY: That's nice, but as it currently stands and was introduced it is indeed a Carbon Tax as specified in the wikipedia article

Moving on to why the thread title and entire article needs to be redone without POV from Labor spin doctors, it is quite clear that Carbon Tax is the accepted term from a majority of Australians. That means we have minority wording for this article which isn't the commonly referred term and therefore POV. Not only this but Gillard has admitted it is effectively a Carbon Tax, so it seems only the wiki bloggers here are the ones who still think it's a "carbon price" and not a "carbon tax".

Hopefully this articles clear bias will be fixed up before the election as it's clearly a one-sided minority view. Crocodile2009 (talk) 01:30, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

You aren't assuming good faith. Secondly you are wrong. Gillard, who introduced carbon pricing in Australia, has made the distinction between a tax and a market mechanism numerous times. In this article Julia Gillard's carbon price promise she is quoted as saying "I don't rule out the possibility of legislating a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, a market-based mechanism," she said of the next parliament. "I rule out a carbon tax." It was also mentioned at Julia Gillard address to the National Press Club on 20 August 2010. She planned a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, so there was no lie no matter how much you want it to be the case. - Shiftchange (talk) 03:08, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
There has been plenty of discussion on the title and semantics of this topic just above. There seems to be some consensus that a "carbon tax" is a subset or type of "carbon pricing", and that the article is better named for the broader topic (especially given that the nature of the scheme is proposed to change to an ETS, but would still be covered by the pricing title), rather than a somewhat contentious "informal" title which has its own political weightings. Rather than flinging around accusations of bias, POV and intervention by "Labor spin doctors", how about you do the following: find some references regarding the taxation nature of the scheme (I understand you would reasonably find "official" government/Labor sources inappropriate, but likewise, articles by certain opinion columnists would also be inappropriate); and write a section or definition of why the scheme is a tax and include it in the article (or the talk page for comment). If you include appropriate references other than your own interpretation or definition of taxation, other Wikipedia articles, opposition MPs and the aforementioned columnists, I think this would be a reasonable inclusion in the article, as it would be a widely-asked question: "Is it a tax?". Of course, other editors would also be able to posit an opposing view (with citations of course), and leave it to the reader to decide. Finally, while I am loath to paint fellow editors with a political stripe, your edit history hardly demonstrates an even-handed and politically-neutral approach to editing, and in my opinion appears to be singularly captivated with painting the Rudd/Gillard government and the ALP in the worst possible light. By all means, if you spot any real "Labor spin", i.e. clearly biased edits by ALP staffers, suspiciously NPOV edits from a Parliament House IP or similar, I would be as eager as you to expunge them, so please do so or bring it up for discussion on the talk page or on the WP:AUSPOL noticeboard. Otherwise, I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for references to back up your assertions. --Canley (talk) 03:15, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
I don't know about "Labo(u)r spin doctors", but it is a tax, and non-political reliable sources call it a tax. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 07:45, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
It is described as a tax but we aren't working on a dictionary. - Shiftchange (talk) 08:01, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
If non-political reliable sources call it a tax, we call it a tax. If non-political reliable sources call it not a tax, we mention that, as well. WP:WEIGHT suggests that our descriptions should be weighted as to what reliable sources say, but whether we use only unbiased sources or only sources without a direct interest in the matter, or some other additional restriction on reliable sources, to determine the weight, would affect the result. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 19:56, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
The main thing is that everyone calls it "The Carbon Tax" a majority of Australians know it as such, the media call it that, all Liberal Politicians call it that and even most of the Labor politicians even refer to it as the carbon tax. Heck even Gillard herself has admitted it's a Carbon Tax. So I ask why then is a government collected, fixed price, arbitrarily enforced, non-market based Carbon Tax being called a "carbon price" here and amusingly on the Carbon Tax wiki? I can only think of one reason and that's Bias.Crocodile2009 (talk) 05:28, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

Suggestion[edit]

As the article points out, the levy/tax/charge or whatever you want to call the cost for buying carbon credits is a but a part (albeit a significant part) of the Green Energy Plan. Why not name it after that? Indeed, it seems to be the apparent scope of the article. POV issues aside, the name "Carbon tax" is too narrow and does not represent the scope of the article. It's like arguing that the article "House" should be called "Wall". Sure, walls are a pretty significant part of a house, but calling the article Wall would be missing the bigger picture. --Merbabu (talk) 10:07, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

Further, "carbon pricing" (as opposed to "carbon price") is also superior to "Carbon tax" for the same reason. It is broader in scope - it can refer to the whole system, of which the charge/levy/tax/fee/whatever is but a mechanism within the bigger system. --Merbabu (talk) 10:44, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

And further still, the current name is carbon pricing not carbon price. That makes a big difference. Think about it. --Merbabu (talk)|

I agree with the renaming to the Green Energy Plan but there needs to be 2 distinct sections, one on the Carbon Tax to run between 2012-2015(which I have shown to be nothing like the ETS on the Carbon Tax talk page) and a section on the ETS System which seemingly will be linked to the EU from 2015 onwards. Weasel words like "fixed carbon price" need to be replaced with what it is and that's a Carbon Tax. I don't pay a "Fixed Income Price" I pay Income Taxes so why are these words being used here?Crocodile2009 (talk) 02:56, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
This article doesn't cover The Farming Initiative and other parts of the Green Energy Plan. We already have the Clean Energy Bill 2011. Carbon pricing is clear and accurate. I don't see why it needs to be changed. - Shiftchange (talk) 03:13, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
I don't agree with a change either - present it prima facie as the proponents intend and deal with the debate on semantics in coverage of history and reaction. For example, if the government is referring to a "fixed carbon price" for the pre 2015 era of the scheme then that should be the starting position as far as this article is concerned regardless of how weaselly that may seem. Landscape goats (talk) 01:07, 4 May 2013 (UTC)
Some of the data quoted in this article is from 2009--check accuracy? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 167.165.60.103 (talk) 20:27, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

Merger Proposal[edit]

This page appears to have overtaken the other in terms of content, but their scope is nearly identical. I suggest any information not in this page be brought over and the other one removed. WB Frontier (talk) 05:43, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

I don't think they should be merged, the Bill article is a point in time, ie the Bil 2011, Carbon pricing in Australia should reflect the here and how and history. Currently the old bill is still law, hence the description is current, when/if new laws are passed this article can be updated, but the other Bill article will still be accurate. ˥ Ǝ Ʉ H Ɔ I Ɯ (talk) 02:12, 26 April 2014 (UTC)

Recent adjustments[edit]

Since the recent announcements by Rudd require changes in legislation shouldn't we wait until confirmation by law? These changes are guaranteed. - Shiftchange (talk) 08:54, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

As I think you meant, they're not guaranteed. I think the article should reflect the current situation, noting the plan. JPD (talk) 13:15, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Choppy lead[edit]

WP:LEADLENGTH applies. I can't see any reason for the lead to be so choppy. Is there one? --Pete (talk) 05:21, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

Highest emitter?[edit]

Looking at List of countries by carbon dioxide emissions per capita, I see Australia as ranked eleventh over all, and second amongst OECD nations. So why are we saying Australia is first? The percentage given here seems to be higher than actuality, with 1.34% given here. If we are just fudging things by a few percent here and there, how much faith can our readers put in our encyclopaedia? --Pete (talk) 04:28, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

Change in the weather: repeal, Murdoch's role[edit]

Possibly useful sources: Australia Becomes First Developed Nation to Repeal Carbon Tax (Wall Street Journal); How Rupert Murdoch Pushed Australia Into A Climate Change Retreat (Media Matters). --Middle 8 (leave me alonetalk to meCOI?) 03:32, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ "Abbott defends carbon tax interview". ABC. 9 June 2011.