Fossil fuel subsidies have soared to fresh heights and will soon eclipse spending on the commonwealth’s fund to help Australians protect themselves from natural disasters, new analysis has found.

Federal, state and territory governments are set to spend a record-breaking $57.1bn combined on assisting fossil fuel producers or major users over the next four years, according to the The Australia Institute.

That’s an increase of $1.8bb from the $55.3bn which was slated across the jurisdictions last year and is 14 times the balance of the Australian Disaster Ready Fund, the left-wing think tank says.

Much of the total figure is driven by an expected 33 per cent increase over the next three years to fuel tax credits, which the federal government provides to businesses that pay fuel excise.

The Fuel Tax Credit Scheme is forecast to cost $7.8bn in the 2022-2023 financial year, which The Australia Institute says is more than the $7.6bn spent on the Australian Army.

Assistance to the coal sector has declined by $270 million, while measures that support the oil and gas industry have increased by $350 million.

Fossil fuel subsidies have soared to fresh heights, according to the research paper. Picture: Saeed Khan/AFP

Fossil fuel subsidies have soared to fresh heights, according to the research paper. Picture: Saeed Khan/AFP

The Australia Institute has released its research paper with the Albanese government poised to hand down its first full federal budget next Tuesday.

The researchers counted as fossil fuel subsidies anything that had a line item or a value in a federal or state government budget paper that went to fossil fuel producers or major users, including direct financial assistance as well as tax breaks.

They found total assistance to producers and major users from all governments declined from $11.6bn in 2021-22 to $11.1bn in 2022-23, but said this figure still amounted to $21,143 for “every minute of every day”.

Extracted in full from: Beetaloo: Australia Institute releases fossil fuel subsidies study | news.com.au — Australia’s leading news site

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