Mike's Minute: Electric vehicles subsidy rubbish

Author
Mike Hosking,
Section
Video,
Publish Date
Monday, 15 July 2019, 10:50AM

COMMENT

The scam in the government's plans to subsidise EVs is to be found in the statement from Julie Anne Genter that it will be cost neutral. The extra cost of the petrol cars will offset the subsidies of the EVs. 

How on earth can she know that? She can't, of course, she made it up. She wouldn't have the slightest idea what the cost of all this is. 

Why? Because she has no idea who is going to buy an EV, who is going to buy a hybrid, who isn't going to buy a Range Rover, and who isn't going to buy a Hilux. 

What if no one ever buys a Range Rover again and they all bail and go save $8000 on Nissan Leafs? There is no tax, therefore there is no offset, therefore you and I are suddenly paying for a fleet of subsidised cars. 

This is the sort of economic, fiscal simplicity that has got this lot in trouble over, and over again. How hard could building 100,000 houses be? The same naive outlook has been applied here. 

Of course it won't be that extreme. But she cannot, unless she is a mind reader, have any idea how subsidising one type of anything over another is going to play out. 

But here is what I do know, this country is run by small businesses, and small businesses drive Utes and four wheel drives. So what they are looking to do here, is penalise small business with yet more increased cost. You can't turn up to your building sight in a Leaf. 

And that’s before you get to the simple argument that says if the EV is the future of transport, let it thrive on its own merits. 

Let us bite the bullet as consumers and lovers of the environment, and pay that extra so we can save us all. Or let the producers of these eco-friendly vehicles bite the bullet themselves and make a contribution by incentivising the sale of the cars they are so keen to sell to us. 

And given neither are doing that, why then is it left to a reluctant taxpayer to foot the bills for those who won't? And if you're going to subsidise multi-billion dollar companies like Nissan, BMW, Audi, or Mercedes, why aren't we applying the logic to all products that help the environment? 

The answer is because it's symbolic nonsense driven by blind ideology. If you're really committed to something there is a price to be paid and an example to be seen. 

Little in life is embraced when it's forced on the masses, or when the bill is shoved to someone else because the original argument has failed to take off. 

If EVs are the answer, or an answer, there is nothing stopping their uptake. If you long for one, see it as the future, see it as your contribution to saving the planet, money, or fossil fuels, buy one, buy three.

But pay for it yourself because you like them, or because you believe in them, not because the rest of us are footing the bill for your environmental predilections.

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