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Friday, August 5, 2011

Lucky country tossing away its advantage

A post from The Telegraph blog of Piers Akerman - original at this link

The Telegraph
Lucky country tossing away its advantage

Piers Akerman The Daily Telegraph August 05 2011 (12:00am)

ANY comparison with other Western nations demonstrates that Australia is the luckiest of countries - yet the Gillard Labor-Green-independent government seems hell-bent on destroying this legacy.

The continuing crash in retail sales is but one indicator of the crisis in confidence affecting our economy. But the worst retail figures to be recorded since 1962 were not due to the rise in internet shopping. They were due more to the uncertainty generated by this government's ideologically-based carbon tax and the effect it is already having on the cost of living through soaring power prices and the threat of job losses.

Australians are being prudent. In the face of infantile economic policies, they want to save for the crunch they know is coming. For some that crunch has already arrived.

NSW Treasury has looked into the federal carbon dioxide tax proposal and estimated it would cost the state 31,000 jobs, over 26,000 of which would be in regional areas.

This should be obvious to all. Regional Australia is home to most our energy intensive industries - the mines, factories and power generators. But apparently it is not obvious to wealthy inner-urban greens or the remnants of Labor's rusted-on support base who are not concerned about price or job losses.

The NSW Treasury study shows electricity prices under government's plan will increase by 50 per cent more than Julia Gillard's promised 10 per cent - an extra $500 for the average household.

Federal Treasury figures show that people in regional NSW already pay 25 per cent more for their electricity than those in Sydney. But far from fighting for their constituents against further price increases, the two NSW regional independents Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott have embraced the punitive tax.

Gillard's claim that the job losses would in some way be neutralised by new jobs in the alternate energy industry is sheer nonsense. So-called green jobs, where they have been created abroad, have been reliant on massive government subsidies.

It has been repeatedly demonstrated that the Gillard government's carbon dioxide tax plan has nothing to do with the environment. Even if it were proven carbon dioxide - and that created by human activity - had some effect on the atmosphere and global temperatures, any lowering of the level of carbon dioxide emissions by Australians would have no effect on the planet given the negligible contribution Australians make to global emissions.

Paying more for petrol, more for electricity for lighting, heating and cooling, more for every item manufactured in Australia and more for every delivery, will not save the Great Barrier Reef or have any effect on sea levels or rainfall.

The only effect of this tax will be to sabotage the national economy, provide employment to a raft of bureaucrats and give a handful of politicians bragging rights at international gatherings of like-minded doomsayers.

The Gillard government's response to logical criticism of its economy-destroying tax plan has been woeful. Unable to address the challenges to the so-called science upon which its tax is based, it has stepped up a campaign of political diversions.

Yesterday the Prime Minister made a speech on aged care policy and staged the opening of a handful of connections to the NBN, Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese was talking about airport security and there was a flurry of publicity about high-speed trains.

This is not government - this is toxic spin from the Hawker Britton strategy book.

Australia is lucky to have the rapacious Chinese as customers even if Gillard is able to overlook the fact that our biggest export is the very coal her government doesn't want Australians to be able to use at home.

Even so, the incompetent and deceitful Gillard government is doing its best to hobble the miners responsible for the bulk of our export wealth through its strident support for extremist environmental policies.

With the US on its uppers and Europe fighting a rear-guard action to keep its currency from being dragged under by debt-defaulting nations, Australia should be soaring. That the nation is undergoing a crisis in confidence not seen in 50 years must be blamed on the Gillard government and its insane desire to strip the nation of its greatest natural advantage - cheap energy.

We must stop the insanity of the carbon dioxide tax and remove the threat of preventing Australians from creating their own prosperity from the opportunities that exist naturally on this continent.