A survey by Fairfax reaches the following conclusion:
FEWER than a quarter of the biggest heavy greenhouse gas-emitting companies that will directly pay the carbon tax support Tony Abbott’s ”pledge in blood” to repeal the scheme, a survey by the Herald has found.
However, reading on, we see the following breakdown. (40/294 companies that directly pay the tax were surveyed).
- 9 support repeal
- 8 favour carbon tax/ETS
- 5 want the current plan altered
- 4 “focused on complying with existing law”
- 9 did not comment
- 3 made negative remarks about carbon taxing
- 1 said it was too early to judge
- the other is not specified
Surely the nine that did not comment should have been excluded. If a pollster rings you up only for you to hang up on them, you would not be counted. The fact that this did not happen suggests an attempt to reach a preconceived conclusion.
The breakdown of the survey reveals that 12 see the carbon tax unfavourably, 13 see it favourably and 14 presented neutral views, plus the unknown. This can present a decidedly different picture.
But the survey of major emitters shows continuing concerns about the design of the scheme, with some calling for a quicker shift to a market-based emissions trading scheme, the scrapping of the planned floor price and more generous compensation.
This likely encompasses the five that want the plan altered and clearly indicates some self-serving motivations.
Greg Combet has his own take.
The Climate Change Minister, Greg Combet, said Mr Abbott’s repeal pledge could not be taken seriously. ”When the overwhelming majority of large emitters paying the carbon price don’t want it repealed, commonsense tells you it won’t happen.”
As I’ve established, this “overwhelming majority” is exaggerated. It is highly convenient for Combet to focus on business support for his plan and to ignore the opposition from the general public. His opposite number, Greg Hunt, says it best.
”I respect the views of those big companies who get to pass on the prices but this is a decision for the Australian people and the next election will be a referendum on the carbon tax,” he said.