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Business group join Greens in 'feebate' call

16 November 2005

Sustainable business group join Greens in 'feebate' call

The New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development is to be congratulated for advocating a scheme very similar to the Green Party's 'feebate' vehicle registration policy, Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

In a new report launched today in Auckland, the NZBCSD recommends that buyers of low-emission and fuel efficient vehicles, both new and used imports, be paid a grant of $3,000 and that those who buy poor performing vehicles be penalised $2,000 at their first registration.

"I'd like to congratulate the NZBCSD for advocating a scheme that pro-actively creates an incentive for people to, in future, choose fuel efficient vehicles," Ms Fitzsimons, the Greens' Transport and Energy Spokesperson, says.

"This is very similar to the feebate system that the Greens advocate in our 'Peak Oil Toolbox', although they don't go as far as we would. We propose that the fee and rebate be placed on every registration after the vehicle enters the country, not just the first one. And to be clear, this would not apply to vehicles already on the road in New Zealand at the time of the scheme's introduction. "However, I don't believe that NZBCSD chief executive Peter Neilson is correct when he says that such a scheme would cost the Government as much as $97 million a year - it need not cost the Government anything. The fees and rebates should be self-balancing so that drivers of gas-guzzling cars, rather than the taxpayer, cover the rebates for the efficient vehicles.

"I would also contest Mr Neilson's suggestion that more efficient vehicles are inevitably more expensive to buy. It is true that hybrids cost more, but vehicles that are nearly as good - achieving as low as 5 litres per 100 km - are available for less than half the price of a hybrid and compare favourably with less efficient cars," Ms Fitzsimons says.

The Greens' Peak Oil Toolbox - http://www.greens.org.nz/searchdocs/other9099.html

ENDS


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