It seems we’re in for a “spring of discontent”. The release of the long-awaited carbon tax details were intended to produce an element of certainty. It’s been spruiked as a simple effective plan ensuring pollution is reduced “at the lowest cost to the economy”, with a large spoon of sugar for us “ordinary folk” designed to sweeten the pain and lessen any complaints. The question is simply one of trust. As any good sales rep understands, you don’t sell the product, you sell trust. And let’s be honest – with questions and retaliations flying from the right and left, we’re doing little more than swimming against a tide of economic uncertainty.
There’s a good degree of wisdom behind the saying “seeing is believing”, because until the model has been tested, tax cuts granted, bank accounts debited and credited, no one is going to fully grasp the implications of this policy or believe the spruiked outcome. The economic model produced by Treasury already has a large question mark because there has been little, if any, consultation with companies in control of dictating price rises, and now we find the results were modelled on a $20 per ton estimate, not the $23 per ton reality. The truth is, no one really knows how much prices will rise – and more importantly, it seems the majority have little trust in those who sit at the controls.