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Baldock: carbon tax a premature double-whammy

Wednesday, 4 May 2005

Baldock: carbon tax a premature double-whammy

The Government needs to tell New Zealand business why it is necessary to hit it with a carbon tax policy double whammy before our major trading partners have hit their business sectors, United Future's climate change spokesman, Larry Baldock, said today.

"The imposition of the carbon tax ahead of China, who we are negotiating a free trade agreement with, and Australia and the United States doing it, does not make sense for a smart economy," Mr Baldock said.

"Minister Pete Hodgson's own speech today indicates that he believes the real solution lies in new technology and this is already being promoted by the steadily rising prices of energy, so why whack our businesses with another tax?

"The Minister cannot have it both ways. On the one hand, suggesting the tax will be very small, and then on the other, claiming that the tax will be a sufficient driver to promote investment in new technology."

Mr Baldock said the best driver for investment is a robust thriving economy, not one dampened down by unnecessary taxes.

The Minister's comment that "we have also designed it for simplicity so that the perfect does not become the enemy of the good" suggests that at least the Government is back-tracking on the crazy ideology behind the Kyoto Protocol.

"There is certainly nothing simple about Kyoto.

"I urge the Minister to have the courage to chart New Zealand's own course in making sensible reductions to greenhouse gas emissions while still supporting the businesses that are the backbone of our economy in this country."

ENDS

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