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From the Sydney Morning Herald:

More than $1 billion of taxpayers’ money was wasted on subsidies for household solar roof panels that favoured the rich and did little to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, a scathing review has found.

The review of the now scrapped federal government solar rebate scheme, conducted by ANU researchers Andrew Macintosh and Deb Wilkinson, also found the rebates did little to generate a solar manufacturing industry in Australia, instead sending hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ dollars offshore.

Mr Macintosh, deputy head of ANU’s Centre for Climate Law and Policy, told The Age yesterday the rebate had been ”beautiful politics, terrible policy”.

 ”I can’t see there is anything to be gained continuing to subsidise rooftop solar PV [photovoltaics] in areas where households have easy access to the energy grid,” he said.

Electricity bills for the rest of us could be more than 20% higher to cover the cost of the ridiculously high feedback tariffs paid to people who own solar panels – which were also paid for by the rest of us.

‘Beautiful politics, terrible policy.’  That is the Labor way, of course – intentions count for more than outcomes.

If it all goes wrong, eg, insulation, immigration, overpriced school buildings no-one wanted in the first place, laptops for every student, no dams, no water, carbon tax, the NBN, etc, etc, they can say in all honesty, ‘But we meant well.’ And the sad thing is, they probably did.

They just didn’t think.

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