The Ugly Underbelly of the Federal Government’s Carbon Tax

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None of the federal government’s decisions have stirred up as much controversy in the past as its current carbon pricing scheme. Yet it still feels like we’re barely skimming the surface. There’s a lot that’s left to be discussed. And there’s a whole underbelly to the policy that’s not so pretty.

In theory, the concept of carbon tax seems pretty straightforward. The government needs to find ways to “save mother earth” and keep the environment clean. It comes up with a proposal to tax carbon consumption. The tax forces the people to be more efficient in their use of carbon.

But is it really that simple? Let’s see.

The gross inequity

At surface level analysis, like the one we just did above, the concept of carbon tax seems much too simple. In fact, it seems simplistic. And it is. One of the biggest problems when it comes to the carbon pricing scheme is the horrible inequality that comes with it.

The government wants to use the tax as a punitive action for the inefficient users of energy. It uses the tax to deter people from using energy inefficiently. Why is it, then, that those who are already efficient with their energy use need to pay the tax as well?

Who would answer that question?

Impact on energy

Many carbon tax policies, imposed by premiers like Kathleen Wynne, have been criticized for not being too effective when it comes to its intended consequence; saving the environment.

How so? Well, the ultimate intent of the carbon tax is to reduce the total energy consumption. Yet there’s no credible evidence anywhere to support the fact that it does that. Let’s take commercial energy usage, for instance. All Wynne’s policies do is to push investment out of Ontario. It doesn’t shut down energy businesses for good. It moves them elsewhere.

And as far as the public is concerned, they won’t use less gas for their vehicles. They will just be more furious about using expensive gas.