Fossil fuel subsidies

Australian taxpayers subsidise fossil fuel-friendly tax breaks for big polluters. There are better ways to spend our taxes than handouts to the companies with devastating environmental records who actively lobby our leaders to stifle action on climate change.

G20 governments of the world first commited to phase out fossil fuel subsidies in September 2009, recognising that “fossil fuel subsidies encourage wasteful consumption, distrort markets, impede investment in clean energy sources and undermine efforts to deal with climate change”. 

But since Australia made that commitment, it has continued to deny that we, as a nation, subsidise fossil fuels.

ACF has been monitoring what first began as it’s ‘dirty dozen’ fossil fuel subsidies for years, highlighting a long list of over $6 billion in fossil fuel subsidies.

The biggest of these are the diesel fuel handouts to the miners – called the fuel tax credits scheme. This is a tax payer handout to big miners worth $2 billion per year.

This equates to $182 per taxpayer  every year, and worth a staggering $9.4 billion over the next four years to some of the most profitable companies operating in this country. This is a much greater cost than the carbon price will have on households. These wasteful, inefficient handouts will continue to promote fossil fuel use at a staggering rate of $4,480 of taxpayer dollars per minute, day in, day out.

The politically powerful mining lobby has got its way in Australian public policy at last year’s may Federal Budget – again. While the rest of us pay 38c a litre in taxes at the bowser, these companies are mining the public purse and in the process they are making climate change worse.

The oil and gas industry also gets a massive tax break through so called “accelerated depreciation” that is rising towards a staggering $2 billion per year by 2018 to companies who again are making record profits. A recent survey found that 77% of Australian's support scrapping these fossil fuel subsidies to the big miners.

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