Shifty wants workers to pay for rich peoples’ smugmobiles

Cartoon by Johannes Leak.

John Hewson was on a roll to win the 1993 federal election, until he was flummoxed by a blunt question about his proposed consumption tax and how it would apply to a birthday cake. The interview is widely regarded as a turning-point in the election. Labor leader Bill ?Shifty? Shorten may have made a similarly fatal fumble, when he claimed that electric cars can be charged in just minutes.

The actual charging time is up to 14 hours.

But Shifty?s gaffe is just the tip of the iceberg of stupid that is Labor?s car policy. Quote:

Bill Shorten’s plan for electric vehicles to make up half of all Australia’s new cars by 2030 – as well as subsidising a new electric car manufacturing industry – could end up costing the country billions.

While the Opposition leader has pitched his electric vehicle policy as a way to tackle climate change, encouraging drivers to switch from petrol cars has a huge financial downside that taxpayers will be forced to cover. End of quote.

Labor?s policy will actually do almost nothing to ?tackle climate change?. If anything, the opposite.

Transport only accounts for 15% of Australia?s emissions. Of that, light vehicles ? private cars ? account for about 60%. Australia?s total share of global emissions is about 1%. Australia has about 20 million cars on the road.

So, Labor?s policy will ? at best ? cut 3% of 8% of 1% of global emissions in ten years. Which doesn?t factor in the almost certain increased emissions from electricity generation, by far the largest sector of Australia?s emissions, to charge all those cars.

Then there?s the direct impact on the economy. Quote:

The party claims they do not intend to directly subsidise electric cars, instead removing barriers to purchasing them – but the Government?points out that increasing the number of electric cars would dramatically increase the demands on Australia’s electricity grid – which is at least 90 per cent powered by carbon-producing coal anyway. End of quote.

The ?barrier to purchasing them? is the cost. Electric cars are at least as expensive as most luxury vehicles. The only way the government would tackle that would be by subsidising them.

It gets worse. Quote:

But one country that’s often quoted as the flag-bearer for encouraging drivers to switch to electric – Norway – has only done so by spending $3,400 per driver on subsidies each year, removing sales taxes and tolls, and introducing perks such as the use of bus lanes.

Norway’s subsidies come from taxes paid by drivers of petrol-fuelled cars?

If Australia offered a similar subsidy?that would equate to $2billion in taxpayer subsidies. End of quote.

So, rich people will be trousering billions from the poorer people who can?t afford luxury smugmobiles.

Then there?s lost revenue. Quote:

If Australia met the target, the government would also lose out on 50 per cent of the revenue derived from fuel excises applied to petrol and diesel vehicles, or $2billion. End of quote.

So, that?s $2 billion in direct subsidies, and another $2 billion in lost revenue. Guess who?ll be slugged for that? And all for one-poofteenth of difference to global emissions. Quote:

This week, Mr Shorten made the extraordinary claim?that electric cars can be charged in eight minutes?

While in fact some can take 14 hours to recharge, and even fast charging stations take about 30 minutes to fill a fully depleted electric car battery to 80 per cent. End of quote.

Shorten?s foot-in-mouth moment exemplifies Labor?s know-nothing approach to policy. Especially with regard to the automotive industry. Five years after the Gillard government threw billions at local car manufacturers no-one is making cars in Australia.

That?s Labor for you: shafting workers and bankrolling rich greenies.