Give it up, Tony

In a post I wrote just over a month ago titled Tony Abbott and the Great Debate I provided a brief summary of the economic impact of the ‘carbon tax’ on Australia. Despite most of the country being frightened half to death from Tony Abbott’s negative campaign, the outcomes went the opposite direction. To recap, I wrote:

He [Tony Abbott] has visited every business in the country and predicted with fear and smear how the carbon tax would destroy their respective industries and how he was likely to be the last person to walk through their doors. Butchers, bakers, candle-stick makers; there’d be none left after the carbon tax annihilated them. Even whole towns were predicted to be wiped off the map.

Whyalla, I am pleased to see has survived as have his favourite butchers, bakers and candle-stick makers. The damage repeatedly predicted by Tony Abbott has failed to deliver its destruction. In fact, it has been quite the reverse. Consider the following:

The data flow covering the time period since the carbon tax started on 1 July 2012 are coming through thick and fast.

The numbers, quite unambiguously, point to the economy doing very on just about all fronts.  Share prices and house prices are both rising, business confidence and consumer sentiment is rising; jobs are being created and the unemployment rate ticked lower.

Indicator      Change since end June 2012
Market Indicators

 

Official cash rate

No change

Australian dollar (vs USD)

+2.9%

10 year govt bond yield

+0.30 percentage points

ASX200

+4.8%

    Change in market cap of ASX

+$53 billion

Economic Indicators

 

RP Data house prices

+0.7%

      Change in Housing Wealth

+$28 billion

Westpac Index of Consumer Sentiment

+3.7%

TD-MI Monthly Inflation

+0.2%

ANZ job ads

-0.8%

Employment

+14,000

Unemployment rate

-0.1% to 5.2%

NAB Business Confidence

+7 points

NAB Business Conditions

-2 points

Mr Abbott would be wise to consider some facts if he intends to continue with his fear and smear. Without them he is open to attack from every economist in the country as well as a Government ready to pounce with a few armed facts and figures themselves.

He may promise to repeal the legislation but in doing so he knows he’d be telling a big fat lie. And in a public debate the Prime Minister could put him to the task on exactly how it could be done. She won’t let him off the hook like our compliant and incompetent media.

I’d suggest that his argument on the ‘destructive’ carbon tax has no credibility left in it.

My suggestion above that the argument has no credibility was almost given the tick of approval by Tony Abbott himself a few days later when he admitted that the impact of the carbon tax may not be catastrophic. I quickly posted a short piece titled Tony Abbott’s “scare campaign was a fraud” and did so with a large dose of smugness. I wrote:

Tony Abbott isn’t getting the message: he needs to shut his mouth to prevent putting a foot in it. He has been given plenty of opportunities this week to learn this simple lesson.

In his latest epic fail he today he admitted to the Tasmanian State Council that:

. . . . the initial impact of the carbon tax may not be absolutely catastrophic.

What happened to the wrecking ball? What happened to Whyalla? What about those 1,001 visits to every butcher, baker and candle-stick maker with dire warnings that their business was doomed?

In a flash Wayne Swan jumped on the comment from Abbott that the impact of the carbon tax has not been catastrophic, declaring his “scare campaign was a fraud”.

Well, dear readers, the carbon tax that has not been catastrophic and which the economic indicators (above) reveal positive outcomes, a month later we now have Tony quietly saying this:

As soon as an election is called, the Coalition will take immediate and concrete steps to repeal the Carbon Tax.

Repealing the Carbon Tax will ease cost of living pressures on families, help small business and restore confidence to the economy.

The man is hell-bent on being a political opportunist. Tony, look at the data. Look at the economy. Even your Shadow Treasurer is starting to look intelligent in comparison to you:

Inside the Coalition, he [Joe Hockey] is waging war. He slapped down Barnaby Joyce for “freelancing” on foreign investment and is fighting to constrain promises being made by Abbott that don’t seem to add up.

These include the scrapping of the carbon and mining taxes while promising (without details) to keep a fair chunk of the goodies they pay for, such as tax cuts, higher pensions and superannuation changes that could cost several billion dollars.

Tony Abbott may have given up his scare campaign but in no way has he given up his ambition ‘scrap the tax’. Might I say . . . Give it up, Tony. We’re all doing just fine. You will be the wrecking ball of the economy – not the tax that you predicted would be.