From Science Matters
By Ron Clutz
Despite climatists’ insistance on “No Planet B”, their ideas and plans assume some reality other than this world. Judith Sloan explains the problem in her Spectator Australia article Greens off on another planet. Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.
Today’s Greens make their predecessors look sensible
Let me get back to the chasm that the Greens deliberately create by advocating much higher government spending while calling for all sorts of perverse measures, up to and including the banning of coal and gas projects. Without these projects, there is no prospect there will be sufficient revenue to fund their over-the-top spending aspirations.
The Greens’ wish list is close to endless: free childcare, free TAFE and university, free dental care, higher dole, higher rental assistance, more public housing, more public transport, more spending on government schools, more foreign aid and on and on it goes.
Unless you believe that government spending is costless and never-ending – OK, for a while the crazy advocates of Modern Monetary Theory held sway until the ugly face of inflation reared its head and the interest payable on government debt began to rise – the Greens cannot escape that perennial political question: how are you going to pay for it?
But here’s the thing: the main reason Australia is not completely in the fiscal dog-house is the surging company tax revenues from mining companies and high commodity prices. Now I know some Speccie readers are a little bit allergic to numbers, but bear with me if I point out a few simple facts.
Take iron ore, which is a mainstay of our budget. For every $US10 increase in the price of iron ore per tonne, there is a lift of $600 million in company tax receipts. The high prices of coal, both thermal and coking, as well as liquefied natural gas, have similarly led to rapid growth in company tax receipts.
At the time of the election last year, the Treasury expected company tax revenue for 2022-23 to come in at a tad over $90 billion. It now expects it to be $127 billion – a jump of nearly one third. Company tax revenue is now at an historic high which, in turn, is mainly because of the surging tax being paid by the mining companies so reviled by the Greens.
Talk about contradictory: it’s not just having your cake
and eating it too; it’s about having the whole bakery.
This underscores my conclusion that the Greens are now living on a different planet rather than partying at the bottom of the garden. They want to shut down most of the resource sector but think that government spending can be jacked up big-time.
And let’s not forget here that federal Labor already has substantial spending plans. Next financial year, it expects to spend $666 billion and in 2025-26, the figure is $729 billion, an increase of over 9 per cent in real terms. The Greens’ ambitions are in addition to this increase.
Don’t get me onto some of the other proposals from the Greens. The geniuses in the party think that imposing national rental controls is the answer to our housing rental crisis. The fact that the attractiveness of residential real estate for investors has declined is regarded as neither here nor there by them. And this is before the full impact of the higher cost of investment loans.
They also want to achieve net zero by 2035, think that the ambition of B1(Climate Change and Energy Minister, Chris Bowen) to reduce emissions by 43 per cent by 2030 is woefully inadequate and want 100-per-cent renewable energy by the end of the decade.
In Bernie Sanders’ style, they think that ‘taxing the billionaires and big corporations’
will release oceans of revenue and a 6 per cent annual wealth tax is the way to go.
Walshy must be spinning in his grave; he would surely conclude that the dotty Greens of his era were sensible pragmatists compared to today’s loopy lot.
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