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

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 […]