First ETS spin "gotcha"

I haven’t even finished reading the first news item I opened (Kids take the heat out of climate costs) on the Australian Government’s new emissions reduction target of 5% (from 2000 levels) and the first whopper bites me on the nose –

Some 60 per cent of middle income earners – 2.4 million households – would be compensated for all price rises. The extra money would come through a 2.5 per cent rise in welfare payments, including Family Tax benefits A and B, from July 2010.
This would include a 1.1 per cent indexation due in September but to be brought forward, and 1.4 per cent to cover cost increases.

In other words, over 40% of what the government claims they will be paying families to compensate for the costs of the scheme they would have been paying any way! This is called spin in polite political circles.

What would the figures look like if they showed only the actual true increase in welfare assistance as 1.4%?

The figures in the couriermail.com.au article compared to the true 1.4% extra payments:

(My comments and calculations at 1.4% are in red beside each quote.)

“How the emissions trading scheme will impact you, assuming you do not alter your energy consumption:

Single-person household – no children

  • On $30,000 a year: Average cost of living impact is $324, government assistance is $390 – therefore $66 a year better off – really $106 worse off
  • On $70,000 a year: Average cost of living impact is $574, assistance from government is $290 – therefore $284 a year worse off – really $412 worse off
  • On $120,000 a year: Average cost of living impact is $877, government assistance is nil – therefore $877 a year worse off – still $877 worse off

Sole parent with one dependent child under five-years-old

  • On $30,000 a year: Average cost if living impact is $487, government assistance is $963 – therefore $476 a year better off – really $52 better off
  • On $70,000 a year: Average cost of living impact is $622, government assistance is $904 – therefore $282 a year better off – really $116 worse off
  • On $120,000 a year: Average cost of living impact is $900, government assistance is $99 – therefore $801 a year worse off – really $845 worse off

Single income couple with two dependent children, one aged 6-12 and one aged 13-15

  • On $30,000 a year: Average cost of living impact is $553, government assistance is $1189 – therefore $636 a year better off – really $113 better off
  • On $70,000 a year: Average cost of living impact is $701, government assistance is $1044 – therefore $343 a year better off – really $116 worse off
  • On $120,000 a year: Average cost of living impact is $925, government assistance is $897 – therefore $28 a year worse off – really $423 worse off

Dual income couple (50:50 income split) – no children

  • On $30,000 a year: Average cost of living impact is $436, government assistance is $1249 – therefore $813 a year better off – really $263 better off
  • On $70,000 a year: Average cost of living impact is $658, government assistance is $780 – therefore $122 a year better off – really $221 worse off
  • On $120,000 a year: Average cost of living impact is $960, government assistance is $780 – therefore $180 worse off – really $523 worse off

Dual income couple (50:50 income split) with two dependent children, one aged under five and one aged 6-12

  • On $30,000 a year: Average cost of living impact is $554, government assistance is $1540 – therefore $986 a year better off – really $308 better off
  • On $70,000 a year: Average cost of living impact is $741, government assistance is $1028 – therefore $287 a year better off – really $165 worse off
  • On $120,000 a year: Average cost of living impact is $985, government assistance is $984 – therefore $1 a year worse off – really $434 worse off

Dual income couple (70:30 income split) with three dependent children, one aged under five-year-old and two aged 6-12

  • On $30,000 a year: Average cost if living impact is $623, government assistance is $1322 – therefore $699 a year better off – really $117 better off
  • On $70,000 a year: Average cost of living impact is $793, government assistance is $1265 – therefore $472 a year better off – really $85 worse off
  • On $120,000 a year: Average cost of living impact is $1040, government assistance is $750 – therefore $290 a year worse off – really $620 worse off

Single aged pensioner

  • On $20,000 a year: Average cost of living impact is $358, government assistance is $382 – therefore $24 a year better off – really $144 worse off
  • On $40,000 a year: Average cost of living impact is $406, government assistance is $845 – therefore $439 a year better off – really $67 better off

Age pensioner couple

  • On $20,000 a year: Average cost of living impact $461, government assistance is $640 – therefore $179 a year better off – really $103 worse off
  • On $50,000 a year: Average cost of living impact is $611, government assistance is $1894 – therefore $1283 a year better off – really $450 better off

In other words, most people will be worse off!

Now, if an emissions trading scheme is such a great idea, why does the government need to bribe us to accept it?

If the government is telling such obvious spin to exaggerate the effect of government assistance, what makes them think we are going to believe the cost of living impact will be as low as they say?

What other spin has been put on the global warming and emissions trading sales pitch?

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