Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Carbon levy booklet fails fact check

Sidney Morning Herald

Fact check fail ... the Climate Change Department
THE 20-page colour booklet What a Carbon Price Means for You, which was mailed to 10 million households in August, may become something of a collectors item.

The Audit Office has found the Climate Change Department used it to make 99 claims about climate change and the carbon tax, 32 of which it was unable to fully back up in the accompanying documentation, including the claim ''nine in 10 households will receive some combination of tax cuts and increased payments to help them with the cost-of-living impact of the carbon price''.

The Audit Office says the department relied on a document that stated ''about'' nine in 10 households would receive such assistance.
The booklet said more than 4 million households would get assistance that was ''at least'' 20 per cent more than their average price impact, whereas the source document said the assistance would be ''around'' 20 per cent more.

The department established a fact-checking matrix purporting to allow it to reference each of the 142 claims made in the radio, television, print and mailout campaign but, when checked by the Audit Office, 52 of the references were found to fall short.

In its response to the audit, the Department of Climate Change said all of the claims in the campaign could be supported by evidence.

The department pleaded ''difficult circumstances'' and a ''complex policy package'' that relied heavily on the work of other agencies.

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