Recent bickering about the impact of a carbon tax has lead me to take a harder look at the numbers to find out some specifics about what a carbon tax might cost us, and what other taxes we could abolish with the revenue from a carbon tax.
From the Federal Governments climate change website we find that CO2e emmissions from the energy sector (essentially transport, and power generation) for 2006 amount to 400.9 million tonnes. So a carbon tax of $1 per tonne would raise roughly $400 million in revenue assuming no change in consumer behaviour and no change in energy production methods.
From the ABS website we find the revenue for various existing taxes. Total payroll tax across the nation for 2006-07 amounts to $14 286 million.
From the review of Australias tax system website we find the revenue for fuel taxes. Total fuel taxes across the nation for 2006-07 amounts to a bit over $10 000 million.
Adding together these two evil taxes and doing some rounding we find that the combined revenue from payroll tax and fuel tax is close enough to $25 000 million. So to elliminate both these taxes using a carbon tax (a slightly less evil tax), limited to energy only, we would need a tax rate of $62.50 per tonne. This is a tax rate well above what is required to make low emission technologies commercially viable. If we assume a population of 20 million this amounts to a carbon tax of about $1250 each per annum.
The net effect of the above would be that fuel would cost quite a bit less (half as much net tax would apply to fuel) whilst electricity would cost more.
To put this in perspective we currently pay about $15335 per capita in annual taxes across all tiers of government.