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No need to confuse the purpose of the carbon tax

manufacturing, PM told by Andrew Liveris”, 7/10/2011, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/industrial-relations/use-new-taxes-to-rescue-manufacturing-pm-told-by-andrew-liveris/story-fn59noo3-1226160724916
Mr Liveris argument for setting aside the mining revenue for use for more productive and innovative purposes is good, but the same argument of his for the carbon tax is not necessarily equally well made.

The proceeds from the carbon tax should not simply be taken as a government revenue source as such, instead, it should be ideally completely neutral to the government. The main reason is that the purpose of a carbon tax is not to raise revenue per se, but to use it as a price signal to reduce carbon emissions. Treating the carbon tax as a revenue source just simply confuses the end with means and loses the public support for a carbon tax even further and makes it politically less feasible.

The proceeds from any carbon tax should be returned to the Australian residents who have the rights to a good and/or better climate. Only when it is done exclusively, explicitly and completely transparently for the purpose of emission mitigation that it will be most efficiently and effectively with the support of the majority of the Australian public.

Further, whether rescuing the manufacturing is the right course or not, needs a careful study and objective debate to be resolved. It is another matter entirely.

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