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Boilers For Big Biz: Megan Woods’ Claims Don’t Stack Up

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is challenging Energy Minister Megan Woods’ claim that million-dollar ‘decarbonisation’ grants for the likes of ANZCO, DB Breweries, and Southern Paprika are necessary for those businesses to upgrade energy and heating systems.

On Checkpoint last night, Energy Minister Megan Woods claimed the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry Fund was an “incredibly effective piece of government spending in terms of our decarbonisation” and that businesses “simply wouldn’t have been able to make the projects work without assistance from government.

Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “The Minister’s press release states that the latest $46 million public-private investment will reduce lifetime emissions at the lucky companies by 900,000 tonnes. That works out at $50 per tonne of reduced emissions.”

“However, businesses are currently paying $75 for every tonne of emissions under the Emissions Trading Scheme. This means that for every $50 invested in these projects, the businesses are getting a $75 saving."

"In other words – assuming the Minister’s estimates of reduced emissions are correct – the businesses already have a financial incentive to spend their own money on electric boilers and the like. So what’s the point of the taxpayer subsidy?”

“These businesses are massive, profitable operations. If they need cash up front to make a profitable investment in energy or heating systems, they can get it from a bank. The only possible reason to add taxpayer money to the mix is so the Government can claim credit for investments these companies would have already made.”

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