Wednesday 06 Oct 2021 | 21:12 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 06 Oct 2021 | 21:12 | SYDNEY

Forking out for our habitat


Fergus Hanson


17 December 2008 10:09

Reading the estimates on the likely impact of the Rudd Government's climate trading system, it's interesting to look back to the results from the 2008 Lowy Poll. The Prime Minister said the initial impact on households would be around $4 a week extra on their electricity bill. 

We asked Australians in July this year, 'If it helped solve climate change, how much extra would you be willing to pay each month on your electricity bill?' The results are below (nb. the Government's estimate of $4 a week translates to about $17 on a monthly basis):

We asked respondents to round the amount to the nearest $10, so this graph doesn't provide an exact point of comparison. But I can say from looking at the details of the poll responses that less than two fifths of Australians were willing to pay the extra $17 a month: and this was before the worst of the credit crisis hit.

So even Rudd's very modest emissions trading scheme already seems to be pushing at the edges of public opinion. In this respect, his plan to fully compensate pensioners seems like a clever one, as our polling indicated that people aged 60 years or older were the least willing to pay, with only 7% prepared to pay over $20 a month extra on their electricity bill.