The Australian Government passed the Clean Energy Bill, also known as Carbon Tax, and related legislation in early November 2011. It should be a base for a carbon pricing mechanism. Opposition of such measures claims that it might lead to firm’s relocation and reduction of working places. However, government presume that Carbon Tax is much better than direct regulation. They also claim that it may lead to increase of employment. Despite such assurances, the policy will have more negative consequences than benefits.
Carbon Tax Policy
In general, the Clean Energy Bill is a tax on greenhouse gases. It is still unclear, what the Clean Energy Bill will bring economically. However, the Julia Gillard’s Labour Government claims that the taxes will be used to compensate the renewable energy development. The Clean Energy Legislative Package will give some “certainty about the carbon price” and allow to “plan new investments” in renewable energy resources (“Clean Energy Bill 2011: Exposure draft” n.par). The Carbon Tax will establish “a carbon price which is expected to apply to around 500 of the nation’s biggest polluters” (“Clean Energy Legislative Package – Summary Of Legislation” n.par.).
The Classical Social Theory by Karl Marx, Émile Durkheim and Max Weber considers the society and its construction regarding its relationship to economic. Marx, Durkheim and Weber developed their ideas “during the period of history marked by the industrial revolution” (Sexton n.par.). Naturally, their primary interests were the division of labour, the shape and development of society considering labour and economic factors (Palumbo n.par.).
The significant part in “the formation of their theories on socialization” played technological modernisation and materialism (Sexton n.par.). Marx, Durkheim and Weber claimed that economic factors have a prevalent influence on society. According to Marx, the sum of relations of production “constitutes the economic structure of society, the real foundation, on which arises a legal and political superstructure” (Palumbo n.par.).
Most of the political theories agree that taxes might be useful to reduce economic inequality. They are justified as they serve to bring certain benefits to society and promote social development. According to some sources, the significant element for the democratic countries is the capacity to tax benefit from capital. While Marx espoused for public ownership of capital. From the perspective of Classical Social Theory, the carbon tax is unfair as it is compulsory and equal for all companies and units that release carbon into the atmosphere, big and small. It is simply creates extra income for government.
From this perspective, it is dangerous for economy and domestic stability. Such policy might also lead to reduction or even shortage of working places. Some sources claim that climate change is not a “great economic catastrophe” nowadays (Kohler n.par.). Many consider such policy as a fraud. However, government authorities claim that such policy let the market “determine the environmental outcome” (“Options and Considerations for a Federal Carbon Tax” n.par.).
From the perspective of Classical Social Theory, such tax policy is an attempt to make a profit from a climate change, instead of actually solving the problem. It is strange that conservatives decided to spend “money from the budget to buy emissions reductions rather than leave it to the market” (Kohler n.par.). It is clear that such policy allows “a fixed dollar household compensation to be announced as pre-election “giveaways” next year” (Kohler n.par.).
Nevertheless, government claims that such policy will compensate the development of renewable energy and it is better than direct regulation. According to some researches, without such policy investment in renewable energy in not real. On the other hand, Australia has growing economy and “a resources investment boom that will multiply the normal emissions from electricity and manufacturing” (Kohler n.par.). This policy allows polluters to buy half of permits in Europe. This may cause the growth of emissions with “a recessionary price on the permits” (Kohler n.par.).
Bignoux, Jean-Yves, Environmental Carbon Tax Policy – Australian Government says “the nation’s future needs to be a clean energy future.” 2012. Web.
Clean Energy Bill 2011: Exposure draft 2011. Web.
Clean Energy Legislative Package – Summary Of Legislation 2011. Web.
Palumbo, Antonino, Classical Social Theory I: Marx and Durkheim. 2005. Web.
Sexton, Timothy, Classical Tradition in Social Theory: Marx, Weber and Durkheim. 2008. Web.