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Taxpayer to foot bill for Labour’s Kyoto incompet

Hon Nick Smith
National Party Environment Spokesman

9 February 2006

Taxpayer to foot bill for Labour’s Kyoto incompetence

National’s Environment spokesman, Nick Smith, says the Labour Government’s climate change policies have become a disastrous and expensive comedy of errors for the taxpayer.

He is responding to latest estimates showing a doubling of New Zealand’s carbon deficit.

“Labour ratified Kyoto saying we would have hundreds of millions of dollars of credits. Last year they admitted they had erred and that we actually had a deficit of 36 million tonnes of carbon,” says Dr Smith.

“In August they said this was a conservative estimate and the situation was expected to improve, but official papers now show the deficit will increase by a further 36 million tonnes due to forest clearing.”

Dr Smith says Labour’s Kyoto bungle has now cost taxpayers more than $600 million.

“The policy has lurched from one bungle to another. We have seen policy U-turns on the fart tax, the carbon tax and the carbon balance. Labour’s approach to forestry will also have to change, because it is clearly unworkable.

“The Labour Government has no idea how to meet New Zealand’s carbon obligations. Key industries like forestry and energy need certainty. They cannot operate in a policy vacuum.

“National re-states its offer to work with Labour to form a bipartisan approach to the issues of greenhouse gases and climate change.

“This is a very long-term international issue that goes beyond the life of any government. These further errors reinforce the need for the Government to take alternative views on board and take up National’s sensible offer of a bipartisan approach,” says Dr Smith.


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