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Act challenged on its centrepiece policy

Hon Jim Anderton

Progressive Party leader

3 November 2008

Act challenged on its centrepiece policy

The policy at the centre of the Act party's election campaign is completely implausible, and Act need to be pressed on the implications, Progressive leader Jim Anderton says.

"National's declaration that it would give a Cabinet seat to Act means Rodney Hide could end up in a portfolio like environment. But the policy he is campaigning on would be devastating to both New Zealand's environmental and economic future.

"Act is saying it wants the Emissions Trading Scheme dumped. But it hasn't said who would pay the cost of emissions. If polluters don't pay for emissions then taxpayers have to pay. Act's core policy either means a new cost for taxpayers, or they want out of the Kyoto Protocol. If Act want to withdraw from Kyoto ,then they need to spell it out that they are calling for New Zealand trade to be blown to bits."

Jim Anderton said New Zealand exporters would likely be made an example of in European countries almost overnight, by consumers if not by governments.

"Any party that says it would withdraw from Kyoto is talking about crashing the New Zealand economy. We know Rodney Hide is a climate change denier, but even a climate change denier has to accept that most of the world accepts climate change and will retaliate against emitters of climate-changing gases.

"Act's policy on emissions trading means either more tax or a trade fiasco. And that is the policy Act is making its main pitch to join National in government."

Jim Anderton said the Government was clear on its ETS policy: agriculture would be included from 2013, but would have 90 per cent of 2005-level emissions grandparented till 2018, and before any phase-out of grandparented allocations began, there would be reviews to ensure that there were technologies available to farmers to reduce livestock emissions.

"There is no way any government I am part of is going to penalise farmers for emissions they can't do anything about."

ENDS

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