HOW many dead pensioners does Julia Gillard need to save her useless carbon tax?
In a speech on Tuesday, the Prime Minister defended the 10 per cent hike in power prices caused by her tax, claiming it was dwarfed by the cost of “over-investment” in “poles and wires” by the states.
Forget that investing in “poles and wires” at least gives you poles and wires, while paying a tax to stop global warming leaves you with nothing – not a flicker of change in the temperature.
Focus instead on Ms Gillard’s demand that less be spent on giving Australians a reliable power supply.
“One quarter of all retail electricity costs … is spent to meet the costs of peak events that last for less than two days each year in total,” Ms Gillard complained.
“It’s like building a 10-lane freeway but with two lanes that are only used or needed for one long weekend.”
When is that peak power most needed? On the hottest days, when Australians switch on a million airconditioners.
And what happens if there are no airconditioners or the power fails? In 2009, up to 80 people died in a heatwave in Adelaide, with the Council on the Ageing pleading: “If you have airconditioning, use it … It could literally be fatal for older people not to use it.”
In Victoria that same year, nearly 400 people, most old, died in a heatwave that triggered repeated blackouts, prompting a senior Victorian minister to suggest “providing a cool place of respite” to older people.
But, for most of us, that “cool place of respite” is next to our own airconditioner – providing there’s power to keep it humming.
So what does Ms Gillard say about these life-savers?