Miriam Lyons | The Drum

CPD’s Executive Director Miriam Lyons appeared on a carbon-tax special of ABC’s The Drum along with host Tim Palmer, ABC Online chief political writer Annabel Crabb, Adam Creighton from the Centre for Independent Studies, Roger Beale from the Climate Commission and Bloomberg’s new energy finance manager Seb Henbest.

Analysing the design, effect and political implications of Julia Gillard’s carbon tax, Miriam suggested that there was a way to go gauging people’s response to the scheme, as Gillard only just started to explain how it’s meant to work, and may have limited attention for Abbott’s doom-and-gloom message.

Analysing the carbon tax in terms of policy implications, Miriam argued that distributionally it would remedy the problems of the Howard era tax cuts and make Australia’s taxation system more progressive.

While the low target may hobble the schemes entire aim of driving innovation and changing behaviour, Miriam argued that it was Australia’s only chance at diplomatic control to demonstrate to countries like the US that you can cut emissions dramatically without wrecking the economy.

In terms of subsidies, Miriam said “I’m always amazed that someone from the coal-mining sector manages to keep a straight face while talking about how much they’re going to be struggling in the context of a massive mining boom going on”.

One of the chief improvements the carbon tax holds over the CPRS, Miriam contended, was that it places the productivity commission in charge of reviewing those handouts. “It’s like putting Martin Ferguson in charge of handing out money to the renewable energy sector”.

Watch Miriam Lyons and the panel on ABC’s The Drum here.