Truth in taxing – a term you probably haven’t heard before, but it’s probably time we all had a dose of it.
The Queensland Competition Authority is due to announce today a 13.6 per cent increase in electricity prices for year 2014-15. This is, apparently, on top of an increase in network connection costs already announced of 25 cents per day in from July. If true, this means a total increase of around $350.00 per year to the average electricity bill. This is at a time when overall volume and demand has dropped by around 10 per cent over the last couple of years.
Governments grew the utilities in line with demand as our state developed and did so at cost, this is because it was representative of the public and charged with the task. The public seems to have completely been disregarded by current governments with regard to their basic charter, to provide essential services to the communities. Bloated bureaucracies have been become apparent, from the smallest of local councils all the way up to the feds.
A close read of the constitution plainly states the role of government. How is it that governments now have corporations under them operating as “for profit” businesses? It’s tax by stealth.
It’s high time all government’s got back to basics and provided services to the public at cost and identify these costs for each service. Then if we are to subsidize some of these services, such as public transport, show them as a particular tax.
The NSW government introduced a 3 cents a litre tax in 1989 in response to carnage on the Pacific Highway. This tax was legislated to last three years only and was to meet the cost of duplicating the Pacific Highway to the Queensland border over the 3 years.
Now, some 25 years later, the tax remains, though it is now federally collected and the Pacific Highway is still in parts, single lane. What is more curious is that because the tax is now federally charged, Queenslanders now pay it and no longer see it reimbursed at the pump, so where is this money?
This latest increase in electricity charges will be almost completely attributed to network charges, costs allegedly incurred in maintaining a network that is transporting 10% less volume and requires 10% less capacity. All of these recent charges are about revenue, plain and simple.
Why can’t the governments, who are our servants, provide some truth in taxing and let us know where we are getting taxed and where the money is going? Any corporation who behaved in this manner would be investigated by ASIC!
I continue to maintain that the recovery of the solar feed-in tariff via electricity bills is an excise which is being collected illegally. It should be coming out of state revenue and be identified for what it is, a subsidy.
It’s true that state and federal finances are in a shambles, but I think I would be happier to know exactly where the costs are and what I need to contribute based on full and organised disclosure. Legislated return on investment is an absolutely ridiculous and blatant incentive for governments to abuse utilities to find revenue by stealth.
Read the constitution and you will be surprised at the boundaries that have been exceeded in order to maintain popular government, we have a lot to learn from the Chinese model in this day and age, when we had our manufacturing and a growing economy we could scorn these governments, it is now clear that popularly elected governments are going to send us into the abyss.
The government insists that it is the carbon tax that is driving up power prices. The carbon tax has always been 2.3 cents per kilowatt hour, this has never increased. It was imposed when it came in, so it is nigh impossible to claim that it is a driver behind these new increases.
The carbon tax, by recent reports, has had a negligible effect on carbon emissions and needs to go. It should be replaced by a tax that is more transparent and effective, and perhaps the new federal government can deliver this.