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Polluter subsidies blow hole in Budget

Polluter subsidies blow hole in Budget

Ahead of the Budget, the Green Party has asked why the Government is spending nearly a billion dollars subsidising polluters to pollute and destabilise our climate.

"Of course the Green Party supports planting trees to sequester the excess carbon pollution that industries produce. However, it should be the polluting industries themselves, not the taxpayer who foots the bill," said Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman.

Under this Government's Emissions Trading Scheme, it is the New Zealand taxpayer, not the polluting industries who pay for carbon credits to the forestry industry.

"At a time when kiwi families are being asked to tighten their belts, it is unfair for the Government to subsidise polluters to pollute, and madness for the Government to borrow to do so," Dr Norman said.

"In the first nine months of this financial year, the Government spent $800m on carbon credits.

"Cutting this subsidy to greenhouse gas polluters would be good for the Government's bottom line and begin the transition to a low carbon economy."

In a paper released yesterday, the Green Party laid out alternative budget measures to help the Government rein in record debt while incentivising a switch to a more sustainable economy.

"A smart Green economy delivers prosperity and protects the environment," said Dr Norman.

"We shouldn't leave our families struggling to make ends meet while polluting industries get a taxpayer funded boost."

Link to the Green Budget document (7 pages):
http://www.greens.org.nz/misc-documents/green-budget-2011

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