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‘Sunburnt’ was the headline on the front page of Saturday’s Adelaide Advertiser.

In the accompanying article, The Advertiser revealed the shocking news that the costs of government subsidies to people who installed solar panels, both the installation subsidies and the feedback tariff subsidies, would have to be paid by other electricity users, and that this could add $120 per year to the average power bill.

The article notes the justifiable concerns expressed by some welfare groups:

Welfare groups say the scheme, which rewards householders with 44c a kilowatt hour for electricity they feed back into the grid, effectively results in low-income families subsidising bills of the rich.

“We’re not opposed to a solar feed-in tariff. But those people who are missing out are lower-income households, who simply can’t afford to pay for solar panels, even with a subsidy, yet they are having to pay for everybody else’s solar panels,” UnitingCare Wesley spokesman Mark Henley said.

I don’t know why people find this so hard to comprehend. When the government pays subsidies, whether to ‘renewable’ energy companies, child care centres, or metropolitan bus travellers, it is you, the ordinary tax payer, who pays those subsidies.

This is not shocking. It is obvious. The time to think about it, and to make it a headline story, is before the subsidies are implemented.

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