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Dunne seeks household compo for ETS costs

Media statement
For immediate release
Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Dunne seeks household compo for ETS costs

The government’s decision to delay the introduction of transport into the emissions trading regime is a welcome but essentially kneejerk reaction, according to UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne.

“Delaying the introduction of transport into the regime will spare motorists additional petrol costs in the interim, but it really does nothing to address the overall likely cost impact on New Zealand households of climate change policies.

“New Zealand families face increased electricity and fuel costs as a result of the moves to emission trading, and rising food bills as a result of the moves to biofuels, and the impact of rising petrol prices has only been delayed.

“What we really need from the government is a clear estimate of the likely impact overall on household budgets of these moves and the steps it will take to ensure families are properly compensated for the cost increases,” Mr Dunne says.

He says that depending on the price per tonne of carbon, New Zealand households could be up to $20 to $25 a week worse off once the emissions trading regime is introduced.

“New Zealand families will not thank the government if the promised ‘significant’ tax cuts in the Budget are largely gobbled up by rising household costs because of the emissions trading regime.

“That would be the ultimate political sleight of hand – giving with one hand, knowing that it will be taking back with the other,” he says.

Mr Dunne is calling on the government to confirm its earlier commitment that households will be compensated for rising costs as a result of the emissions trading regime, and that such compensation will be full, and in addition to this month’s tax cuts.

“Only then will New Zealanders be able to make a full judgement on the worth of the government’s initiatives.

“While yesterday’s moves on petrol are welcome, they suggest the government’s real interest is in deferring the pain, rather than compensating for it, and that will not be enough to satisfy struggling households,” he says.

ENDS

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