Comments on Arthur Sinodinos “Turn carbon price into a GST with tax cuts”, 19/05/2011, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/budgets/turn-carbon-price-into-a-gst-with-tax-cuts/story-fn8gf1nz-1226058476248
I am afraid to say that this piece appears to represent a very poor thought bubble.
A carbon tax is a price signal to change behaviour and emissions.
To turn it to a general tax like the GST does not have any price signalling effects, let along the public resentments on increases in taxes.
It sourced the idea from Geoff Carmody, a founder of Access Economics. Carmody may be a good economist, but it does not mean is a saint and every of his idea is best or equally.
A link to direct action by government has some merits, but having the government instead of the market to do the work and select the winners is equally poor thought bubble.
This is a fairly partisan view, as opposed to a general good advice to the government or an excellent commentary from a respected independent commentator.
The government’s approach to the carbon tax has been poor, but it does not mean that any other idea is automatically and necessarily better than it or can improve it.
Abbott's direct approach without explicitly charging a tax or changing existing taxes, though having its own deficiencies and shortcomings, is far better than what Arthur Sinodinos' proposal.