Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Carbon Tax 1 - Football 0

By Paul Frederickson

Carbon tax versus football, an enthralling game it would seem, but the pundits believe that carbon tax will win on penalties if not in extra-time. How will carbon tax effect Australian football? The absolutes are as yet unknown but we will explore the effects in brief.

The Australian Parliamentary library describes Carbon Tax as;

"A tax on energy sources which emit carbon dioxide. It is a pollution tax, which some economists favour because they tax a 'bad' rather than a 'good' (such as income)." (1)

Furthermore The Australian Parliamentary library suggests;

"By placing a cost on these negative externalities the underlying purpose of a carbon tax is to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and thereby slow global warming. It can be implemented by taxing the burning of fossil fuels—coal, petroleum products such as petrol and aviation fuel, and natural gas—in proportion to their carbon content." (1)

Thus, by taxing the highest polluters in Australia the Federal Government hopes that they will change their practices to produce cleaner production methods and technologies. Admirable, yes, but it would be naive to think that these high polluters will not pass these costs unto us, as Matthew Charles reports.

"The most prominent of these will be if households take into consideration higher levels for prices," HSBC chief economist Paul Bloxham said, noting that higher wage expectations and higher inflation would be the result. (2)

The Australian Newspaper stated that the, "Minerals Council chief Mitch Hooke said the climate plan would, "take a baseball bat to the Australian economy" (3)

Who will pay for the carbon tax? Big business will most certainly pass the cost onto the consumer. As this is a football column let us have a look at some of the cost factors:

  • The travel costs for teams and supporters will increase. Increasing the overall running costs of the clubs and travel costs for traveling supporters.
  • Travel on public transport and via personal transport may increase
  • Equipment and supporter wear may increase in price.
  • Food and beverage costs may also increase.
  • Decrease in consumer's disposable income.

Will this also effect when games are played?

  • The rising cost of electricity may lead to more games being played in the day.
  • Ground rationalisation between clubs may come into affect, changing how and when games can be played.
  • Broadcasters may also pay less for future television deals.

Further questions may be asked about what will happen if we don't do something about pollution by our biggest polluters?

  • We allow big businesses to pollute as they always have without implications.
  • By allowing companies to pollute in these ways new, cleaner forms of production by the big companies are not explored.

I am not saying that a carbon tax is the perfect way to solve the polluting issues but we may not have an environment where it is safe to play or watch football if we take no action at all.

What do you think?

(1) Parliament of Australia, Parliamentary Library, Carbon Taxes, accessed on July 12, 2011 from;


(2) Matthew Charles, Herald Sun, July 12, 2011, Carbon Tax may trigger rates rise. http://www.news.com.au/money/interest-rates/fears-of-tax-inflation-spike/story-e6frfmn0-1226092802664#ixzz1Rq6O9lRp

(3) The Australian, July 11, 2011, The Prime Minister begins to sell the carbon tax to Australia.