Aussie Carbon Tax
Australia, famous for its red center, golden sands and sensational blue waters turns a little green these days. The Australian government has introduced a new highly controversial ‘carbon tax’ after many years of negotiation and political and party fighting.
The new law forces around three-hundred or so of the worst polluting companies to pay a levy of $23 Australian Dollars, (that’s around US $24 and GB £15) for every single tonne of greenhouse gases air pollutant they produce.
The government says the tax is needed to meet the climate change obligations of Australia, the highest emitter of greenhouse gases per head of population in the developed world.
The opposition and some business heads have termed this new levy a ‘Toxic Tax’ and claim it will cost many jobs as some of the worst firms will have to cut wage bills to pay the tax. The opposition also claim the tax will effectively raise the cost of living, they’ve already promised to repeal the legislation if it wins at the next election next year. They also deny the charge or cutting carbon emissions will help the environment.
Julia Gillard, the Prime Minister claims this levy is the only realistic way of meeting the obligations on climate change. “Businesses have got themselves ready for carbon pricing. New investments are being made.” she says and has hopes the legislation will force forward innovations in renewable energy supplies, freeing the country from its reliance on fossil fuels.
Should we applaud such a levy against the heavy polluters of our environment or is it a step too far for a governments power? The European Union already has a similar scheme in operation but is that enough, pollution is a global issue so shouldn’t such a tax be global also?