New protectionism under carbon pricing

by Tony Wood

The Government’s unduly generous assistance to industry under its carbon emissions package may create a new protectionism. The whole community will pay for unjustified subsidies to the LNG and coal industries. The Government has sensibly asked the Productivity Commission to monitor the effects of industry assistance over time. However, its draft legislation distracts the Commission from a clear focus on the public interest. The Government should amend the Bill to strengthen the Commission’s power. The Commission should interpret its mandate in order to resist a return to protectionism. Read the op-ed in The Conversation.