The Opposition's Greg Hunt spoke to the Rudd Government's third reading of the CARBON POLLUTION REDUCTION SCHEME BILL 2010 on Thursday 4 February 2010:
The ABS lists 8.7 million Australian families.
You need to multiply 8.7 million by $1,100.
Multiplying 8.7 million by $1,000 gives $8.7 billion.
You then add another $900 million, let us call it, and
that gives you $9.6 billion. We are still $2 billion short
of making up Mr Rudd's tax. We are assuming that that
component will be met off the bottom line of business,
but if business passes that through it will be more than
$1,100 per family. So remember this: it is the 8.7 million
Australian families who are the ones that have to
make up the $11½ billion. We are giving Mr Rudd the
benefit of the doubt. We are saying that they will only
have to make up $9.6 billion and that business will cop
the other $2 billion and not pass the costs through for
that, but it is likely that it will be higher than $1,100
If anyone is wondering where Mr. Hunt found his $1,100 figure:
Where do we get the $1100 figure from? It is not
just us. Whether it was the Daily Telegraph in November
on the splash front page '$1100 per family the cost
of Mr Rudd's ETS', whether it was the work of the
Brotherhood of St Lawrence...
Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott apparently pulled the same number out of the air or from a Google News search (depending on who you believe) after The Daily Telegraph article was published and specifically applied it to middle income families. A fact which Hunt studiously ignores.
If Greg Hunt goes to a newspaper for some of his figures, where did he go to get his $11.5 billion great big tax and is it a per annum number?
We know that this figure is the estimated revenue from the proposed auction of CPRS carbon permits over two years because the Senate Economics Committee told us so in April 2009 and we also know from Frontier Economics that this original estimate is expected to fall under the revised CPRS currently before Parliament, but Hunt appears to be sticking with the original and now out-of-date projections which he insists on calling a tax on families, pensioners and small business.
Of course with this $11.5 billion being spread over two years that would mean that the spurious dollar amount Hunt is implying is an annual figure would have to be cut in half - that's $550 per family each year for the first two years of the emissions trading scheme.
Hunt is also being a trifle elastic when it comes to population numbers and needs to explain why he is distributing this 'tax' across 8.7 million so-called 'families' when he perhaps should be saying 'households'.
The $1,100 reverts to a per household basis in Liberal Senator Simon Birmingham's media release, so Greg Hunt cannot plead ignorance of what his 8.7 million represents.
Perhaps he thinks telling Parliament that it's all about Australian families reads better in Hansard and, after all the suspect $1,100 he is quoting appears to actually apply to middle-income families anyway according to other members of the Liberal Party.
And the $900 million or the Brotherhood of St Laurence and KPMG?
Well Hunt never explains where he drew that $900 million figure from.
While BSL-KPMG documents don't appear to mention the $1,100 per household but placed the additional costs at:
$494 per year additional expenditure for very low income (below $500 week gross income), high energy using households; and $478.40 for low-income (below $1000 per week gross income), high energy using households.
One rather suspects that Messrs. Hunt and Abbott have carefully included in their totals those projected cost of living price rises which are independant of any emissiosn trading scheme.
Rising to one's feet in the House of Representatives and knowingly building a dollar pyramid based on shifting sand is seen by simple folk as lying to Parliament.
Something Greg Hunt should remember before he goes any further.
Tony Abbott will of course totally ignore any parliamentary rules or conventions if it suits his immediate purpose.