Tuesday 8th May will be budget day here in Australia. And for Treasurer Scott Morrison MP – ScoMo MP for Cronulla we all have items on our Budget wish list – ours is a revenue-neutral #CarbonFeeAndDividend.
But, all we want from the Budget is a revenue neutral #CarbonFeeAndDividend … and if not this year, then next year will be fine.
Survey after survey reveals that over 90% of Australians want a national climate policy that will work. The problem is that surveys also reveal that only half of us feel able to afford to pay more from our own pockets for such a climate policy.
This combination of survey results means we can say for sure that many Australians with a climate dividend in the bank each month will want to spend part of that on making their households a part of the solution.
That is why what we most want to see in Australia’s budget sometime soon is a revenue neutral Carbon Fee And Dividend.
As a budget instrument the CFD is a temporary fix – but that is all it needs to be. It starts out small and gently raises the fee placed on climate pollution at the point source, simply divvies the dividend transparently to every household, and is retired when its job is done.
While it exists the CFD could be used to powerfully grow the economy – by whole percentage points – so needs to be administered with skill, and precision. It would immediately send a price signal and at the same time assure owners of small and medium enterprises that their customers can easily pay the costs that have to be passed on. This will be the case whether costs are due to carbon pollution or because of the cost to the business of upgrading supply chains or technologies.
Every country and every national budget ultimately and inevitably needs a politically neutral revenue neutral steadily rising carbon pollution fee scheme.
So, if we are to get such a good policy, we have to at least start talking about what policy is the best fit for our egalitarian Australia. It won’t be easy – we may even have to say both the C-word and the T-word sometimes to have that conversation. The longer we leave this uncomfortable conversation, the more likely it is that other less fair solutions will be proposed and passed – solutions that sidestep the sensible mature climate politics Australians deserve and could help drive. We will miss the chance for our families and householders to be part of the solution in a way that is both fair and effective.
Shout out to Per Capita Australia – every year PerCapita shows in precise detail that we Australians care about and talk about tax! This year among other things the PerCapita annual survey shows that people want more progressive taxation even though the context is that 9 out of 10 of us are completely wrong on thinking that Australia is a high GDP:Tax ratio nation!