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Dunne: Households vital for ETS and biofuels

Media statement
For immediate release
Friday, 16 May 2008

Dunne: Households vital for ETS and biofuels

UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne says the party’s future support of both the Emissions Trading Scheme and the biofuels legislation currently before Parliament hinge on the issue of the impact on household budgets.

“If both of these Bills add significantly to the living costs of New Zealand households, without adequate compensation, we will not be supporting them any further.

“Without the support of New Zealand households, already reeling from the uncertainty and impact of rapidly rising living costs, neither the Emissions Trading Scheme nor the move to biofuels is sustainable.

“The New Zealand public will not stand for massively increased food and living costs as the price of this government’s climate change response,” he says.

Mr Dunne says he is becoming increasingly alarmed by the government’s “glib and cavalier” approach to the household costs issue.

“They have talked vaguely of compensation for some of this for some households, but have failed, despite my many promptings, to be in any way specific about what the increased costs to households will be, and about precisely how they are to be compensated.

“They seem much more interested in getting the measures through as quickly as possible, so they can parade their environmental credentials at election time.

“Even more alarming is their apparent increasing imperviousness to criticism on the issue.

“Every time they are challenged to provide more information, they simply attack their critics as trying to delay things,” he says.

Mr Dunne says UnitedFuture has always supported the principle of an Emissions Trading Scheme and the move to biofuels, but thinks it only right that the New Zealand public are fully informed about the cost implications to their households of such moves.

“It would be irresponsible in the extreme to give full support to these proposals while the people of New Zealand are being kept so much in the dark about the implications for them and their families.

“This has eerie overtones of the carbon tax plan the government tried to rush through before the last election, only to have to withdraw it afterwards when it was advised its plans were unworkable, and we do not want to see a repeat of that debacle.

“The government may find these hard facts unpalatable, and therefore wish to keep them from people, but it will not get support for its flagship policies if it continues with this approach,” Mr Dunne says.


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