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Journeys : MNJ Aug Sep 2011
From the CEO There has been strong support among R ACT members for our new service – RACT Health Insurance - in just the first few weeks since we launched it. We undertook this initiative in response to comments we’ve received in our branches and through research we subsequently undertook, which showed there was an appetite for health insurance that was tailored to the Tasmanian community, was competitive, and was operated by a trusted Tasmanian organisation. RACT Health Insurance adds more choice and competitiveness into a state that is cur rently dominated by large national insurers. Some 70% of the health insurance market in Tasmania is controlled by two national insurers. RACT Health Insurance is a major initiative in the evolution of the RACT. It joins RACT Roadside, RACT Insurance and RACT Travelworld as a core business of the club. It’s designed to benefit members, so do your home budget a favour and compare us w ith other health insurers. —— —— I want to thank members who took part in our online poll about a carbon tax and petrol prices. We received some very thoughtful comments as part of the survey. The poll gave members an opportunity to express their views on whether a carbon tax should extend to petrol, and if so, whether it should be an additional petrol tax, or should be absorbed from the existing 38 cents per litre excise on petrol. Survey respondents agreed that a carbon tax should apply to petrol, but were more evenly divided on whether it should come out of the money already collected through the petrol excise. A slim majority believed a new carbon tax on petrol should be in addition to the excise we already pay. As I write this column, Australians are digesting the details of the carbon tax after the full package was recently announced in Canberra. Motorists have been spared the carbon tax at the petrol pump, but they w ill continue to pay the existing excise. Interestingly, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development recently said that revenue from fuel tax w ill fall as vehicles become more fuel-efficient. The OECD believes governments would do better to switch from taxing at the fuel pump, such as the current excise in Australia, to taxing road- users on the kilometres they travel. This is a position the motoring clubs have supported for many years, although we must also factor carbon emissions into the equation. Properly implemented, it would be a fairer tax. The petrol excise would be abolished and replaced with a system that ensures that those who use the road most – and therefore cause the greatest wear and tear – would pay a fairer proportion of tax. Harvey Lennon Chief Executive Officer Carbon tax and petrol prices – your views Aweb poll by the RACT in the lead-up to the recent release of the full carbon tax package by the Federal Government asked motorists their attitudes about whether a carbon tax should be applied to petrol. It provoked lively commentary. Comments centred on the rights and wrongs of the proposed carbon tax, possible changes in the way we travel if the tax is applied to petrol, and the need to offset a carbon tax on petrol w ith better public transport and an encouragement to use more environmentally-friendly cars. To the question, Should the response to climate change include a new tax on motorists in the form of a carbon tax? there was majority agreement. Some 59.5% of those who took part said yes and 40.4% said no. However, when asked the next question: If so, should the Government absorb the new carbon ta x on petrol through the money it makes on the 38 cents per litre petrol excise? the response was more evenly matched. 51.1% of respondents said the carbon ta x should be in addition to the current 38cpl excise we pay at the petrol pump, and 48.8% said the Gover nment should absorb a carbon tax from the existing excise it collects at the petrol pump. At the end of the survey, it seems just about everyone who took part was keen to make extra comments. Some noted the question of a carbon tax on petrol and included obser vations about peak oil demand and public transport. Other respondents had forceful views one way or the other on climate change and taxes in general. some thought-provoking comments 100% of the current, pre-existing fuel excise should go towards investment in public transport infrastructure, especially in regional, rural and remote areas where there are no current alternatives to private car ownership. An additional carbon ta x should be added to the current petrol price for all petrol purchased IN METROPOLITAN AND SUBURBAN AREAS, to better encourage individuals to utilise viable alternative transport. All freight, trucking, shipping, and industrial use of petrol should have an added carbon ta x at DOUBLE THE METROPOL ITAN AND SURBUR BAN R ATE to encourage efficiency in industry. In our community 6 August / September 2011
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Oct Nov 2011