New lies put Gillard’s sin in perspective

Many castigated Julia Gillard for her 'carbon tax lie' despite the policy's complex history, but it will be much harder to forgive the Coalition for its litany of broken promises.

In retrospect, it’s clear that the fate of the Gillard government was largely sealed in a single 2011 meeting. A gargantuan error was made when the handful of cabinet ministers and advisers present agreed not to defend themselves against opposition claims that their emissions trading system was a ‘tax’.

By agreeing to say that the Clean Energy Futures package “functions a bit like a tax”, they damned the policy and the government to the two years of media excoriation that followed.

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