Don’t worry, the carbon tax won’t cost you much is the message. Then, how is going to lower the growth of carbon dioxide emissions, one could ask? And clearly no one has heard of the Jevons Paradox that predicts that greater energy efficiency will actually lead to higher carbon dioxide emissions.
But an important question is who is paying for the collaboration of CHOICE, ACOSS (who alarmingly seems to be arguing for this package knowing full well that most of the green schemes are extraordinarily regressive – eg. solar feed-in tariffs) and the Climate Institute to produce yourcarbonprice.com.au?
With the carbon price now law, households will finally be able to weigh up their own costs, financial support and potential savings with an independent online calculator and website – yourcarbonprice.com.au – launched today by consumer advocate CHOICE, the Australian Council of Social Service (representing low income households) and policy research organisation The Climate Institute.
“After such a ferocious political debate, Australians can be forgiven for feeling confused about what the carbon price will really mean for everyday items such as food and electricity. This confusion also increases the risk of businesses passing on unrelated costs to consumers. That’s why this research is so important, allowing households to work out costs and savings for themselves, with figures and information independently and rigorously researched by the CSIRO and AECOM,” said CHOICE spokesperson Matt Levey.
The CSIRO-AECOM research shows impacts on households are likely to be smaller than anticipated. It calculates Australia’s carbon pollution price will add 0.6% to inflation in 2012-13. This is less of an impact on the economy than estimated by Treasury modelling, and may be even smaller as the modelling assumes a 100% pass-through of costs by businesses to consumers.
The CSIRO-AECOM research underpins the figures used in the new online savings calculator at yourcarbonprice.com.au, as well as a national information program available to councils, schools, faith groups, business groups and other organisations.
“Communities are looking for real information about their day-to-day costs and savings. For example, the carbon pollution price initially translates into 2 cents extra for bread and a litre of milk, 11 cents for a leg of lamb and 14 cents for a weekly spend on fruit and vegetables but once you factor in ongoing government assistance, those weekly costs are largely covered and most people end up with money in their pocket,“ said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie.#
“Energy efficiency can put households even further ahead. The latest estimates* show most people could be another $12.75 better off per week ($663 per year) by making just 4 small changes in the home,” said Climate Institute CEO John Connor.
I can’t find any disclosure in relation to the funding provided by the federal government for this exercise. As supposedly independent associations representing consumers and low income persons, respectively, it is absolutely essential that these groups disclose the funding received. (CHOICE normally charges for its consumer advice – which is fine, of course.)
Here seems to be the answer along with other green largesse.
- The Australian Conservation Foundation received $398,000 to fund a series of presentations on climate change from people trained by the movement started by former US vice president Al Gore;
- The Australian Youth Climate Coalition received $271,000 for two forums in Brisbane and Perth on combating climate change ;
- The Climate Institute received $250,000 to produce an independent assessment of the impacts of the carbon price on the cost of living. It is working with ACOSS and Choice on the study;
- Climate Works is negotiating with the Climate Change Department for a $460,000 grant aimed at raising community awareness to cut carbon emissions [very expsensive community awareness raising] and;
- The CSIRO has received $500,000 as part of a program aimed at cutting energy consumption in low-income households.