Sunday, August 12, 2012

Regime uncertainty and base partisanship

The Catallaxy Files site regularly presents a rich seam of idiocy. Most recently I was amused to read resident Perfessor Sinclair Davidson blaming Rudd and Gillard for Howard Government policy.

The argument is that spiralling energy costs commenced at mid-2007 specifically with the release of the Shergold report on emissions trading.

That enunciation of “vague government policy” contributed a significant inflationary effect on energy prices, by virtue of a handy little construct known as regime uncertainty.

But the Perfessor notes...

We can hardly blame events in 2007 on the Rudd-Gillard government. Well maybe we can.

Well, of course we can! You see, on the release of Shergold’s report...

At that point climate change policy became bipartisan with the Howard government adopting ALP policy...

See how it works? There ain’t nothing that can’t be blamed on the GillardGillardGillard.

There’s a slight  difficulty, however, for the Perfessor’s account: Climate change policy in fact became “bipartisan” somewhat earlier than he suggests.

Howard announced Shergold’s Task Group on Emissions Trading in December 2006; thus, it was obviously firmly Coalition policy before even then.

And the Task Group released an Issues Paper in Feb 2007, which surely would have given investors the jitters well before the final report was issued at end-May of that year.

Still, I’m sure such trivial details will present no difficulties for the Perfessor.

Nor will the fact that Gillard after all has now delivered certainty for the energy sector.

Or that Abbott’s blood-oath to repeal carbon pricing arrangements — which, it’s been argued, he’ll be unable to do — can only serve to undermine that certainty, with the consequence of more regime uncertainty to further exacerbate our energy price woes.

So, next time you open another shocker of a power bill... Blame Tony Abbott.

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