SENATE HEATS UP OVER THE CARBON TAX
... while the climate continues to cool
Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media.
Clive showed clearly this morning that he doesn’t have a handle on Parliamentary procedure, he has no concept of Standing Orders, has never read the Constitution and has very little hope of tethering his Pups to their kennels.
How he made a quid in business is also a mystery. In fact the only thing Clive appears good at is either losing or stealing money.
This is what happened that led to this morning’s farce:
Last night Clive sat up in bed with four Big Macs and two litres of Coke perusing the many amendments he had made to the Carbon Tax Repeal Bill, all of which the Government had already agreed to.
Just as he was quaffing down the third Big Mac, he thought of another ripper idea... instead of making the penalty for not passing on the Carbon Tax savings $1.3 million, he could make it a percentage fine, an amount of 250%, or two and a half times what companies’ were alleged to be defrauding consumers of.
Clive finished the fourth Big Mac, burped, farted and went to sleep.
When Clive’s new amendment hit the Senate this morning the Clerks choked on their Weet Bix at this new “percentage” bit. It constituted an appropriations amendment. And anything that even smells of an appropriation cannot be generated from the Senate. So they refused to circularise it. It was dead.
The Coalition immediately went into damage control and told Clive they would agree to this new “percentage” stuff, but it was all too late.
Clive's new amendment had to be generated from the Lower House and the Reps won’t sit until next week. Oh dear, what a balls up.
Clive immediately went into Clive mode claiming the Government had, “pulled a swifty”. Of course the Government hadn’t pulled any bloody thing, it was Clive doing all the pulling and it wasn’t just swifties.
He clearly hadn’t realised what he’d done. Nor did the Press (well, you can understand the Press gallery not understanding anything).
Incredibly it took Ricky Muir and Glenn Lazarus to explain to Clive what had happened.
Clive then faced the cameras and tried to bluster his way through the mess he had just created by blaming the Government.
Clive’s proposed amendment (which only applies to “energy” based companies) is a total nonsense and the Government readily agreed to it, knowing it to be a nonsense, unquantifiable and unenforceable.
The Government’s claim of $550 per annum savings to each household after the tax is repealed is also a nonsense. It’s just an arbitrary figure they had to have, and it’s equally unquantifiable.
Prices rise and fall in a competitive environment due to supply and demand. The carbon tax was an impost on everything and prices will drop, but by how much is anyone’s guess and it would be impossible to determine how much of any price fall could be attributed to there being no carbon tax.
The ACCC would never consider imposing fines on companies where a carbon tax component cannot be quantified. It would be a litigation nightmare and a lawyers’ picnic!
The world will have moved on from Gillard’s carbon tax and all sorts of things will have contributed to price rises and falls in the interim.
Mining companies are at the mercy of exchange rates, variations in indented orders, world prices, variable costs of extraction per tonne, union demands and tax deductions for transportation and exploration costs and an array of other stuff.
Airlines have recently been in a fight to the death over pricing. When they call a halt to the price war, what percentage of an ensuing price rise is it that cannot be blamed on a defunct carbon tax?
When another price war forces prices down what component of that will be due to healthy competition and what component to a non-existent carbon tax?
Clive’s amendment has no time limit! So, in ten years’ time, will a food company intending to raise its price on marmalade need to keep one eye on a non-existent carbon price and another eye on the market price of oranges?
The whole concept is bloody ridiculous! But not too ridiculous for Clive to entertain.
So, the main question that arose out of today’s debacle is how the hell did this galah they call Clive ever make a quid anyway?
Perhaps it was someone else’s quid, now that would explain it.
(cartoon is reposted from this year’s calendar)