What is it with the Labor party and their addiction to taxes? Over the past decade they have tried (and failed) to introduce a carbon tax, a mining tax and a retiree tax (on franking credits).
Last week they were at it again with what appears to be a proposal to introduce the mutant child of the carbon and mining taxes.
In the fine print of Labor’s climate change policy released last Friday, they announced that they would reduce the carbon emissions “baseline” for just 215 businesses. They chose these businesses because they emit more than 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.
As the baseline decreases more of these businesses will find themselves over their permitted carbon emissions limit. When that happens they will have to buy carbon credits, which will effectively be a tax on their operations.
The alumina plant at Gladstone for example could face a $54 million tax bill per year based on a 43 per cent reduction in emissions (Labor’s target) and the current carbon credit price.
Labor’s new plan is a backdoor carbon tax but just on these businesses.
So where are these businesses? Well one third of them are in Queensland even though only 20 per cent of Australians live in Queensland. We get hit more than Victoria or South Australia, because Queensland has the coal mines and gas fields that generate so much of our wealth.
It gets even more skewed for regional Queensland though. Of the 63 Queensland businesses that Labor plans to put a carbon tax on, all but 2 of them are in regional Queensland. That is right, 97 per cent of the impact of Labor’s carbon tax in Queensland will be outside of Brisbane.
It gets even worse for us in Central Queensland. Central Queensland is home to 75 per cent of the businesses in Queensland that Labor wants to tax. Why is Labor targeting Central Queensland jobs so much? Is it revenge for voting against Bill Shorten last time?
Labor’s carbon tax would be imposed on the magnesia plant at Parkhurst, the cement plant in Gladstone, the aluminium smelter on Boyne Island, the LNG plants on Curtis Island and almost all of our coal mines including Blackwater, Caval Ridge and Oaky Creek. This is the heart and soul of our region.
And, these are the businesses that pay the bills for Australia. We have got through coronavirus thanks to the income we still earn from mining and manufacturing, even while the rest of the country was locked down. Central Queensland stayed at work while others watched Netflix on JobKeeper. It makes no sense to penalise those businesses that can create the wealth to pay back the massive post Covid debt we now have.
Meanwhile Labor’s policy lets the banks off scot free. Many would not know but the banks are large emitters themselves due to the energy use of their large data centres. However, under Labor’s policy, emissions from the use of electricity is inexplicably ignored. If Labor had included emissions from electricity use, three of the four big banks would have carbon emissions over the 100,000 tonnes threshold.
So Labor’s climate policy taxes the jobs in the hi-vis industries of mining and manufacturing, while turning a blind eye to the emissions created by jobs in suits.
And those hi-vis industries, guess who they will have to buy the carbon credits from? That’s right the banks. No wonder the banking industry is one of the loudest supporters of Labor’s climate plan.
Once again Labor has designed a policy that taxes us in the regions so that more can be spent in the big cities.