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The rich get richer in the green economy

By 16 November 2011 17

The Liberals’ Zed Seselja is very excited by internal correspondence from ACT Treasury stating the bleeding obvious, that rooftop solar is a way to enrich land owners at the expense of non-land owners.

An email obtained by the Canberra Liberals through freedom of information shows the public servant calculates that by purchasing a 1.7 kW solar system, a “profit? of $20,000 can be made.

“This is validation from a government employee that ACT Labor’s solar scheme is inequitable and goes directly to the heart of this Governments attitude to cost of living concerns in the community,” ACT Opposition Leader Zed Seselja said today.

“Households who can’t afford solar panels will slugged an extra $225 a year to compensate those who can’t.

“It’s a sad irony that even the government’s own senior employees acknowledge – and indeed seek to utilise,” Mr Seselja concluded

UPDATE: The Greens’ Shane Rattenbury has wasted no time in responding:

ACT Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury has called on the Liberal party to stop misleading the public about the costs of the government’s household solar scheme

“The 30 MW of small and medium scale solar in the ACT was costed at around $27 per household per year – that’s an average of about 50 cents a week for households,” said Shane Rattenbury, Greens Energy Spokesperson.

“Yet repeatedly we have heard the Liberal party quote the price of $225 per household per year in discussions about the household scheme.

“It’s just not accurate, and it’s a divisive ploy that the Liberals are using to pitch those in the community with solar on their rooves against those who don’t.

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17 Responses to The rich get richer in the green economy
#1
davo1019:40 am, 16 Nov 11

Here’s a tip Zed: hire an editor.

Households who can’t afford solar panels will slugged an extra $225 a year to
compensate those who can’t.

Huh?

#2
DUB9:47 am, 16 Nov 11

:)
davo101-offering your services?

#3
davo1019:52 am, 16 Nov 11

DUB said :

:)
davo101-offering your services?

No–people in glass houses and all that.

#4
EvanJames9:55 am, 16 Nov 11

This is the way our current taxation/compensation system has been operating for a while. For instance, lower/middle income earners without children get taxed, and the money is re-allocated to people, often on higher incomes, with kids. (baby bonus, Family Tax A, Family Tax B, Childcare Rebate, back to school allowance and the rest of it).

Those lower income earners who can’t afford a mortgage have their taxes re-allocated to those with mortgages.

Funny that we don’t see our leaders highlighting the ludicrousness of that one.

#5
Grail12:35 pm, 16 Nov 11

Here’s a tip Zed: as a member of the Liberal party, you’re supposed to be pushing small business and capitalism-as-ideology (that is, after all, the foundation of the Liberal party†). The obvious solution here is (a) get a loan, (b) install solar, (c) profit!

The money coming in from the solar panels offsets the electricity bill, the money you save on the electricity bill pays off the loan. It’s free money. After a while the loan is paid off and you’re still making money from the solar installation. This will only get better as the price of electricity rises, with a slight reduction in the capacity of the panels as they age (down to 80% productivity at 20 years).

Why does a rabid Greens supporter have to remind the leader of the Liberal party about how to wrangle money?

Grail said :

†”We believe: …
• In the innate worth of the individual, in the right to be independent, to own property and to achieve, and in the need to encourage initiative and personal responsibility.

• In the creation of wealth and in competitive enterprise, consumer choice and reward for effort as the proven means of providing prosperity for all Australians.

• In Liberalism, with its emphasis on the individual and enterprise, as the political philosophy best able to meet the demands and challenges of the 21st century.

In short, we simply believe in individual freedom and free enterprise;
and if you share this belief, then ours is the Party for you.”

— Canberra Liberals, “Our Beliefs” web page

Special emphasis on “… the need to encourage initiative and personal responsibility.”

FFS, Canberra Liberals, get with the program. Either you care about individual responsibility and capability, or whine about people using their initiative to exercise their capabilities and take responsibility for generating their own income — don’t try doing both, that’s an inconsistent message. Don’t keep those stupid words up on your web site if you don’t actually believe them.

I feel sorry for the people who vote Liberal in this town. What a bunch of hypocrites.

#6
Watson1:08 pm, 16 Nov 11

I would be interested in finding out which figure is right.

#7
chewy141:08 pm, 16 Nov 11

Grail said :

Here’s a tip Zed: as a member of the Liberal party, you’re supposed to be pushing small business and capitalism-as-ideology (that is, after all, the foundation of the Liberal party†). The obvious solution here is (a) get a loan, (b) install solar, (c) profit!

What does small business and capitalism have to do with government subsidies provided to rich people from the pockets of poor people?
Government intervention is anathema to the Liberal ideology.

#8
Jethro1:18 pm, 16 Nov 11

I don’t agree with the system as it stands.It is a very expensive way to make us move to a carbon reduced future. However, this isn’t a rich person/poor person thing.

To quote from the email.

“To top this offer Harvey Norman is offering interest-free terms for two years – so for a 1.5Kw Chinese system you could borrow the lot, pay no interest, have the system pay itself off and get $20,000 from the feed-in.”

So, anyone could invest in one of these and make money off it. It’s just that poor people might be more inclined to use Harvey Norman’s interest free deals to buy giant TVs.

I think the divide is between smart people who know an easy gravy train when they see it, and those who don’t.

#9
johnboy1:22 pm, 16 Nov 11

anyone who owns a rooftop on which to intall the system jethro.

#10
Watson1:24 pm, 16 Nov 11

johnboy said :

anyone who owns a rooftop on which to intall the system jethro.

Yep, it’s definitely renters against home owners. Which is pretty much the same as poor vs rich I would have thought?

#11
Jethro1:33 pm, 16 Nov 11

Watson said :

johnboy said :

anyone who owns a rooftop on which to intall the system jethro.

Yep, it’s definitely renters against home owners. Which is pretty much the same as poor vs rich I would have thought?

That’s a fair enough point that I didn’t really consider.

#12
Jethro1:38 pm, 16 Nov 11

Jethro said :

Watson said :

johnboy said :

anyone who owns a rooftop on which to intall the system jethro.

Yep, it’s definitely renters against home owners. Which is pretty much the same as poor vs rich I would have thought?

That’s a fair enough point that I didn’t really consider.

Although rent in the inner suburbs tends to run at close to the same as a mortgage in the outer suburbs.

#13
Watson1:58 pm, 16 Nov 11

Jethro said :

Jethro said :

Watson said :

johnboy said :

anyone who owns a rooftop on which to intall the system jethro.

Yep, it’s definitely renters against home owners. Which is pretty much the same as poor vs rich I would have thought?

That’s a fair enough point that I didn’t really consider.

Although rent in the inner suburbs tends to run at close to the same as a mortgage in the outer suburbs.

Getting closer now… Still was a big difference when I moved there. If I ever have any money, I’ll definitely chuck some solar panels on my future shoebox in Gungahlin!

#14
alaninoz2:07 pm, 16 Nov 11

Grail said :

It’s free money.

No it’s not. It’s being pilfered from someone else’s pocket. I’ve never seen creating money being described as one of the benefits of solar power.

#15
devils_advocate2:31 pm, 16 Nov 11

chewy14 said :

What does small business and capitalism have to do with government subsidies provided to rich people from the pockets of poor people?
Government intervention is anathema to the Liberal ideology.

Not if the intervention is designed to correct a market failure – such as, underinvestment in renewable technology due to a failure to price in externalities associated with cheapter but more polluting forms of generation.

So there.

#16
Grail2:58 pm, 16 Nov 11

chewy14 said :

What does small business and capitalism have to do with government subsidies provided to rich people from the pockets of poor people?
Government intervention is anathema to the Liberal ideology.

So we should drop the $10B subsidy on fossil fuelled electricity then?

Because as you said, Government intervention is stealing from the poor to subsidise the rich. $10B represents about $300 per year per person that the Government is stealing from everyone in order to make electricity 2% cheaper. Is your electricity bill more than $15,000/year ($30k/year if you’re living with another adult)? I didn’t think so.

Give me that money back, please. I’ll choose what I spend it on, rather than subsidising industries which destroy our environment.

The current parity deal is still quite generous. I’ll happily invest now, with the knowledge that I have to locate someone whose inspection ACTEW will accept at the four-yearly electrical safety review.

#17
chewy143:40 pm, 16 Nov 11

Grail said :

So we should drop the $10B subsidy on fossil fuelled electricity then?

Because as you said, Government intervention is stealing from the poor to subsidise the rich. $10B represents about $300 per year per person that the Government is stealing from everyone in order to make electricity 2% cheaper. Is your electricity bill more than $15,000/year ($30k/year if you’re living with another adult)? I didn’t think so.

Give me that money back, please. I’ll choose what I spend it on, rather than subsidising industries which destroy our environment.

The current parity deal is still quite generous. I’ll happily invest now, with the knowledge that I have to locate someone whose inspection ACTEW will accept at the four-yearly electrical safety review.

No,
I said THIS government intervention is stealing from the poor to subsidise the rich.

I’d be happy if other subsidies were reduced also.

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