Monthly Archives: July 2011

Tax cuts the price of MacArthur Coal

The Prime Minister is saying that today’s Peabody bid for Macarthur Coal demonstrates that the Gillard/Brown “coal tax” has not hurt the prospects of the Australian coal industry. But today’s Financial TImes reveals that the Labor government’s taxes are having an impact on the value of Australian resource assets. Peabody has cut its offer price […]

Flying bind

Qantas—the airline that will soon call Singapore home (?)—says consumers will foot the entire bill for the un-compensated tax on aviation fuel. The airline has a better chance to offset the other threat it faces from a European airlines tax. The European emissions permit market is today offering a tonne of carbon at a little […]

The new future of old age

I have a feature article on recent remarkable changes in the outlook for longevity in the current (Winter 2011) edition of Policy, the journal of the Centre for Independent Studies. The article sketches some recent advances in understanding and manipulating the epi-genetic roots of ageing, and draws attention to the potential economic value of coming […]

The “clean energy” hustle

Some aspects of the Prime Minister’s advocacy for her coal tax are, at best, misleading: a wedge for the much greater costs implied by the Labor/Greens agenda. She says: “Putting a price on carbon will drive innovation and investment in clean energy technology, moving production towards less pollution-intensive processes.” But that is far from the […]

Prices to grow 20 percent faster

Among the slogans that the Labor/Greens alliance will pound out over the next few weeks is that their coal tax is “low cost.” They don’t seem to understand the meaning of the CPI increase revealed by their own models. But worse, as far as I can see they don’t understand even basic household budgeting. The […]

When is “reform” not a reform?

No doubt Ms Gillard will assure us, next Sunday when she announces the coal tax she has agreed with the Greens and two “independents”, that this is a “reform” that will secure a better economic future for Australia. But a “reform” is no reform when… It is not adapted to its purpose: The Gillard-Brown coal […]

It’s the politics (stupid)!

If history has rules, one must be that interest smothers concept (and eats its lunch). The political challenges of implementing any big, disruptive technology on a large scale inevitably deflate the hopes of technological optimists. The commercial challenges track closely behind. This is why, if for no technical reason, the projections in Treasury’s 2008 ETS […]