Friday, 7th March 2014

QANTAS AND THE DREADED CARBON TAX

The Qantas debate is set to go nowhere for several weeks yet, as the Qantas Sale Act legislation languishes in the Senate. It has instead become a vehicle for broader political arguments.

The federal government is again intent on pinning a portion of the blame for the airline's troubles on the carbon tax, but Qantas initially disputed this analysis – not the first time a company had rejected such a reading.

Qantas said in a statement on Monday, "the major issues [it] faces are not related to carbon pricing".

But following a telephone conversation on Wednesday between Treasurer Joe Hockey and airline chief executive Alan Joyce, Qantas issued a quite different statement. The carbon tax had cost it $106 million last financial year and was "among significant challenges we face". Hockey denies pressuring Joyce.

Lenore Taylor (the Guardian) was rightly sceptical. When Taylor investigated, she found that "Qantas recovered all of that $106m through the ticket surcharge it imposed at the time of the carbon tax introduction. The net effect of the carbon tax itself on the airline’s bottom line was therefore zero." 

Not that this revelation will have any impact whatsoever on the frequency or accuracy of government claims about the carbon tax.

One could easily forget that carbon pricing was ever related to the environmental damage caused by greenhouse emissions.

We will leave it to Clarke and Dawe to explore the absurdities of the ongoing debate.

Nick Feik
Politicoz Editor

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Qantas carbon tax bill has been covered by ticket surcharge

"It turns out Qantas does not have a $106m “unrecovered” carbon tax bill at all. According to a spokesman, Qantas recovered all of that $106m through the ticket surcharge it imposed at the time of the carbon tax introduction. The net effect of the carbon tax itself on the airline’s bottom line was therefore zero."

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Welcome to contemporary Australia

Video, Clarke and Dawe

AlsoAustralians ‘living beyond our means’: Gina Rinehart (AFR)

And finally: Peter Grests needs help - A call on Tony Abbott (The Monthly)