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Carbon tax and compensation issues

Comments on Robert Gottliebsen “Alinta's fiery carbon resolve”, 29/04/2011, http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/carbon-tax-Dimery-Alinta-energy-prices-pd20110429-GCS8F?OpenDocument&src=sph&src=rot

That just points to why all compensations on a revenue neutral basis should go to residents and not businesses, because most residents have no where or no means to pass on the higher energy costs (they don't sell things) to while many businesses can because they sell more than they buy.

Businesses can pass on, at least some of the carbon tax to consumers, because the average industry costs, as opposed to just some firms in an industry, will be higher under a carbon tax, so all business members will pass on that higher average costs. A caveat is the shape of the demand curve - if vertical, then all the tax will be passed on to consumers; but if horizontal, none of the tax can be passed on. But in the short term, it is likely to be more vertical than horizontal, especially as energy products are concerned.
The second point is that brown coal power will be less profitable than gas fired power if the electricity has the same market price irrespective how it is generated.

That is the main point of a carbon tax to reduce emissions - a market mechanism as liked by many economists or the likes.

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