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Greens urge Nats to get real on petrol prices

1 September 2005

Greens urge Nats to get real on petrol prices

Green Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons has accused National of deceiving Kiwis about petrol prices.

"National is insinuating that it will be able to keep petrol prices down if elected," Ms Fitzsimons said.

"This is demonstrably untrue. The cost of crude oil is now four times higher than it was five years ago and it will only get higher. No amount of huffing and puffing from National will changes these basic facts. Instead of deceiving Kiwis about the end of cheap oil, all parties should be preparing the country for it."

National has today claimed that petrol prices will rise under a Labour/Green Government.

"Petrol prices will rise under any government because oil is becoming a more and more scarce resource. The only way to stop petrol prices from continuing to rise would be for the Government to fix prices and offer huge subsidies to people buying petrol. I'm surprised that a party that claims to believe in the free-market would apparently be advocating such price fixing.

"Furthermore, subsidising fuel prices out of taxation would kill off all the sustainable alternatives that people are starting to adopt, like more efficient cars, biking or taking the bus to work, and developing biofuels."

Ms Fitzsimons said that National's response to escalating petrol prices was baffling.

"Saying that petrol prices will rise under a Labour/Green Government is a little like saying the tide will come in or the sun will rise while the Greens are part of the next government. There are natural forces at play well beyond the control of the New Zealand Government which are forcing petrol prices up.

"With the tidal wave of the end of cheap oil coming our way, National's intent on putting our collective head in the sand instead of implementing a civil defence strategy.

"The Greens have been working for years to put in place a strategy to reduce our dependence on oil. This strategy includes encouraging more efficient vehicles, buying more goods locally, building up public transport services, getting more of our freight on rail and developing alternative fuels to petrol."

ENDS

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