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Putting a Price on Carbon: Who will Pay?. Financial Counselling Australia Conference 16 May 2012 Gerard Brody Director-Policy and Campaigns Consumer Action Law Centre. Overview. Carbon tax and compensation Misleading advertising Unequal burden of carbon tax

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putting a price on carbon who will pay

Putting a Price on Carbon: Who will Pay?

Financial Counselling Australia Conference

16 May 2012

Gerard Brody

Director-Policy and Campaigns

Consumer Action Law Centre

overview
Overview
  • Carbon tax and compensation
  • Misleading advertising
  • Unequal burden of carbon tax
  • What’s really driving energy prices?
  • How can advocates improve outcomes
carbon tax and compensation1
Carbon tax and compensation
  • Couple with dependent children on moderate income ($81,640)
    • financial assistance of between $7.90 and $23.60 a week: more than offset the average cost impact for this household.
  • Couple with dependent children on low income ($44,800)
    • financial assistance of between $11.10 and $24.10 a week, equivalent to at least 30% more than the average cost impact.
  • Single parent with dependent children receiving the moderate income ($54,666)
    • financial assistance of between $8.80 and $10.60 a week which will cover the average cost impact for this household.
  • Single parent with dependent children receiving the low income ($36,359)
    • eligible for financial assistance of between $8.60 and $16.60 a week, equivalent to at least 38% more than the average cost impact for this household.
role of accc
Role of ACCC
  • Some examples that ACCC has its eye on:
  • ‘Beat the Carbon Tax – Buy Now!’
  • ‘Our prices will be hit hard when the carbon price comes in’.
  • ‘Our prices have increased by X% because of the carbon price’
carbon tax on bills
Carbon tax on bills
  • Proposal from NSW & QLD govt to disclose carbon tax and cost of environmental initiatives on bills
  • Total Environment Centre claim this will necessarily mislead consumers
  • Suggest ACCC should regulate as to how any disclosure is undertaken, so as not to mislead
impact of carbon tax is complex
Impact of carbon tax is complex!
    • How much you pay depends upon where you live
    • Different average energy consumption in different states
    • Carbon intensity of electricity consumption
    • Electricity only versus dual fuel
  • Would’ve been more equitable to apply compensation to kWh/bills (i.e. concessions)
then what is driving up prices
Then what is driving up prices?
  • Network costs
    • Rule change proposal from Australian Energy Regulator
    • Ability of network companies to appeal regulatory decisions
  • Lack of effective competition in retail and wholesale markets
    • Power of 3 mega retailers
    • Vertical integration
what can we do
What can we do?
  • Financial counsellors and consumer advocates have powerful stories to tell about impact of rising bills
  • Only with publicity of these impacts will there be the political will to reform the market to address some of these issues