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Nats must reveal real intentions for ETS

16 October 2008 Media Statement

Nats must reveal real intentions for ETS

It's time for National to clearly tell voters what they would do with the Emissions Trading Scheme, Labour's climate change spokesperson David Parker said today.

According to the Waikato Times, Nick Smith told Federated Farmers in Hamilton last night that the ETS needs to be "softened" for farmers.

"Nick Smith wasn't telling the Oxfam audience on Monday night that National would be letting agriculture off the hook, but it's a different story when he's in front of an audience of farmers.

"Climate change is too important a subject for National to remain vague about, and the public needs to know what National's real intentions are. John Key says they want to 'amend' the present legislation, while Jacqui Dean says National would 'repeal' it. Now Nick Smith is saying they would 'soften' it.

"This week National revealed it would ditch the billion-dollar household fund for energy efficiency. National had kept that little doozy from the public, until Nick Smith was forced – very reluctantly – to admit it.

"Journalists and the public must ask the question now: what are National's real intentions for the ETS?"

David Parker said making changes to the ETS could have enormous cost implications, and if polluters don't pay, then taxpayers will have to.

"This sends absolutely the wrong signal to the economy. Such a move would increase the overall cost of meeting our Kyoto obligations, and increase the proportion taxpayers and some sectors have to bear."

"These decisions have consequences worth hundreds of millions of dollars. National's refusal to say exactly what they're planning is irresponsible given the effect on the environment and on the country's balance sheet."

ENDS

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