Shorten defies belief on climate costs

Australian Conservatives Release

It almost defies belief that when Bill Shorten was asked in the last leaders debate what his energy policy would cost the nation he replied: “The cost to the taxpayer of our policies is practically nil.”

The Conservative Party knows that couldn’t be further from the truth and will fight to protect the Australian economy from Bill Shorten’s reckless policies.

Alan Jones writes in today’s The Australian, “As untruths go, Bill Shorten’s assertion is gold medal stuff. When the Labor leader was pressed about the veracity of his answer, he repeated: “First of all not a cost to the taxpayer.”

Now I do not know how Shorten defines “cost to the taxpayer” and I could be here all day enumerating the costs, but let’s try a couple.

The electric cars policy is that, by 2030, half the cars sold will be electric. But what infrastructure would be needed to support these electric cars? Or, to repeat the question Shorten would not answer, what cost to the taxpayer?

Shorten says he will “work with the states to ensure new and refurbished commercial and residential developments include EV charging capacity”. This is a straight-out housing tax.

If the electric car plan becomes a reality everyone, non-car owners included, will be hit with thousands of dollars in extra building costs. Whether you want to buy an electric vehicle or not, Shorten will force you to include a charging station in your garage whenever you build or renovate your residential development.

What did Shorten say in the debate? “The cost to the taxpayer of our policies is practically nil.”

A charging station in your ­garage would cost about $7000. Multiply that by the number of homes and apartments likely to be built over the next four years, to say nothing about renovation, and you have Shorten levying a housing tax of about $5 billion.

When Shorten was pressed on radio on the same issue of the “cost” of the absurd energy policy of a 45 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and a 50 per cent renewable energy target, the best he could do was this: “This issue about ‘give us one number’. I don’t think that’s possible. If you had a friend who was perhaps on the large side, the chubby side, and they had 10 Big Macs a day … there is a cost to not eating the Big Macs [can you believe this is the alternative prime minister explaining the cost of his energy policy] … but in the long term it’s an investment, isn’t it … sure there is a cost to exercising but there is a benefit … now which do you measure? The cost of the benefit or do you accept that it’s all part of a total package?”

Well, the bad news for Shorten is that this “costing” has all been done by Brian Fisher, a key adviser to Australia in the Kyoto climate change negotiations. Fisher also has been a lead author for the ­Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and was the former head of the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics under both Labor and ­Coalition governments.

Fisher released his report on the cost of the energy policies of both parties. Put aside the fact distinguished economist Warwick McKibbon has suggested Labor’s energy policies would likely cost Australia’s economy $60bn more than those of the Coalition.

Fisher has said Labor’s energy policy would require large adjustments to the economy. He spelt out the cost Shorten seeks to avoid and used a very conservative carbon price of $67 a tonne. It could be $400 a tonne.

Fisher argued that by 2030 the annual lost GDP would be up to $542 billion. Depending on the international price of carbon dioxide permits, the cost to the economy could be $1.2 trillion by 2030. Job losses would be between 166,500 and 330,000. Lower wage growth could be between 3 and 11 per cent. That means if you are on $106,000 your wage would fall by between $3000 and $11,000.”

Don’t let Bill Shorten’s Labor and the Greens destroy the Australian economy.

Bring back common sense!

Vote “1” Australian Conservatives in the Senate.

/Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.