Tuesday, June 24, 2008
The number crunching begins
Stephane Dion wants to slap a $1 billion dollar tax on Ontario electricity.
I'm sure it'll be at talking point uttered by Conservatives over and over again during the next election. Probably by Jack Layton, too.
Some polls suggest that Canadians are open to a carbon tax. Will they be open to paying the price with their electricity bills? And that's only a start.
Now, for the Liberals to respond to this, they'd have to tell Ontarians how much they would get back in income taxes, right?
However, this has always been a fundamental flaw with this "shift" plan of Dion's. It's not really a shift. Income taxes are not tied to consumption of carbon. So, people will know they'll get hit with higher prices. They'll know they'll get some money back in income taxes. But it's all so complicated and confusing. Is it really worth the risk and change, and can we trust these huge numbers anyhow?
For example, the Weston piece I linked to above states that not even Ontario Power Generation Corp. knows how much electricity bills would go up under Dion's tax, but they'd go up. Probably by a lot.
It's one thing to simply say that Dion's plan is risky. It's taken to a whole other level, however, when people start looking at the numbers.