Let’s tax the future.

Written by

Andrew Millar


August 21, 2011

OK… I’ll state right up front that my head is not buried in the sand.

I do believe that we have to change the way we, as humans, live on this planet. I do believe that there are better ways to generate power than burning fossil fuels. I do believe that we need to think hard about our future… if we are to have one…

And as for Climate Change? I… well… I’m not skeptical, I just haven’t been able to separate in my mind the fact from the politically expedient. I do know that there is a truth in there somewhere…

What I don’t believe in is taxation.

If I was to run into Julia Gillard in a shopping centre the fuss I’d create for the film crews would not be about her saying ‘There will be no Carbon Tax’ but would be a loud kerfuffle* asking her to show me just one example of where a tax changed anything!

Has taxation given us better highways? There are still terrible ‘black spots’… people still die…

Has taxation given us better water management on of the Murray? Oh sorry, you could argue that that was a levy, not a tax.

And then there’s cigarettes. Every time a budget is brought down cigarettes cop an extra load. Why? Because the argument goes, smoking is bad for you and if we raise the price, you’ll give up is the argument put forward… I’ll wager it has not stopped one person dragging on dried leaves wrapped in paper. Not one.

Taxes never work to change habits because we just get used to paying it.

I have aways preferred a Carbon Trading Scheme but critics say this rewards the ‘big polluters. But I’d rather that than penalising the innocent.

* Wonderful word. Should be used more often.