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Remember the kids

Remember the kids

Green media release 4-5-08

The Greens are calling on Labour and particularly National to stop their backsliding on environment policy after both parties refused to confirm their support for key aspects of the emissions trading scheme and public transport infrastructure funding.

"National and now Labour have refused to give firm commitments on the phasing of the emissions trading scheme. Furthermore they are both getting cold feet about giving regional councils the ability to levy regional petrol taxes to pay for public transport infrastructure," says Dr. Russel Norman, Green Party Co-leader.

"The answer to the current economic situation is not to sacrifice our future. We need to move our economy and transport system in a sustainable direction, so that people can afford food and transport in the future.

"Rising fuel, food and housing costs are placing pressure on people. We need to address that pressure in the short term with support for the most vulnerable. And we need to apply the emissions trading system fairly across all sectors, including agriculture which currently gets subsidised by taxpayers to the tune of $1.2billion over the next five years.

"But in the long term petrol prices will only continue to rise and we need long term solutions. We need to urgently invest in public transport systems so that people of all incomes have choices as to how they get around our cities and towns in the future. And we need good rail systems for freight and intercity passenger travel.

"Cutting back on public transport investments now will cost us more in the future, just as the lack of investment in the past is costing us dearly now. We will all benefit from better public transport, not just lower transport bills but lower interest rates because the Reserve bank is increasing interest rates to try to quell inflationary pressures coming from fuel imports.

"National is leading the race to the bottom in abandoning environment policy but Labour is giving the appearance of not been far behind in following them into the abyss. Our kids deserve better."

ENDS

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