John Boscawen- our hero!

John Boscawen is one of the few sane voices in parliament on the issue of the ETS legislation- here is a selection of his press releases.

Reserve Bank confirms ETS Tax to Lift Prices, Boost Inflation

A Press Release published by John Boscawen at 4:07pm on 11 Mar 2010 in the following categories: Environment And Conservation .


Reserve Bank confirms ETS to Lift Prices, Boost Inflation

Dr Allan Bollard, Governor of the Reserve Bank today confirmed what ACT has said all along; that the new ETS tax will lift the price of electricity and petrol from July and will push inflation to the top end of the Bank’s 2-3 per cent band, ACT New Zealand ETS Spokesman John Boscawen said today.

"The Reserve Bank confirmed they had accepted Treasury estimates of a 5 per cent increase in the price of electricity and 4 cents a litre increase in the price of petrol in calculating their inflation estimates.

"However, the real impact on inflation is likely to be much greater than the Reserve Bank's 0.4 per cent calculation as the Bank has only taken into account the expected electricity and petrol increases and their indirect consequences.

"In addition to electricity and petrol, industrial processes will also be included in the ETS from the 1st of July although the Bank has failed to allow for this. Processing of basic food stuffs, like milk and bread, will be captured by the ETS and will percolate through the economy.

"The Labour Party continues to pretend to be concerned for those on low and middle incomes. If they were really concerned, they would be joining with ACT in it's call to have the introduction of this extra tax delayed indefinitely.

"With none of our three major trading partners - Australia, USA or China - likely to adopt an ETS in the foreseeable future, it is time for the Government to join in our call to halt this expensive experiment," Mr Boscawen said.


Let’s Axe The (ETS) Tax

A Press Release published by John Boscawen at 1:43pm on 05 Mar 2010 in the following categories: Environment And Conservation .


If Labour is so concerned that an increase in tax will hurt low income families – as demonstrated by Labour’s ‘axe the tax bus’ against a 2.5 percent increase in GST – then why isn’t Phil Goff prepared to stand against the ETS tax and campaign for it to be scrapped, ACT New Zealand ETS Spokesman John Boscawen said today.

"Low income families will be hit hard when the ETS tax causes electricity and petrol prices to rise by 5 percent on July 1 this year. However, unlike National’s proposed increase in GST, there will be no compensation to low income earners for this new ETS tax," Mr Boscawen said.

"Not only will the new ETS tax increase the price of electricity and petrol, but it will see the costs of all goods rise as businesses raise their prices to cover the extra costs.

"It was Labour that first introduced this new tax, and if National had not amended it, on Jan 1 this year all kiwi families would have been facing a 10 percent increase in their power bills. It seems very hypocritical that Labour was happy to see a tax of 10 percent introduced on electricity, but are now fighting against a 2.5 percent increase in GST.

"The ETS tax will put pressure on many low income families already struggling to pay their bills. If Goff really cares about low income families then this is the tax that Labour should be fighting to axe," Mr Boscawen said.



National’s Foolishness Will Cost NZ Dearly

A Press Release published by John Boscawen at 2:15pm on 01 Dec 2009 in the following categories: Environment And Conservation .


National’s rush to push through the Emissions Trading Scheme before the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen has now left New Zealand exporters at a huge disadvantage following today's defeat of Australian Liberal Party Leader Malcolm Turnbull, ACT New Zealand ETS Spokesman John Boscawen said today.

"ACT has said all along that it was foolish to ram through the ETS without waiting to see what Australia would do. The change in Liberal Party leadership today has spelt the end of the Rudd Government’s ETS and puts our exporters at risk," Mr Boscawen said.

"Our exporters now face much higher costs than those of their Australian counterparts. We will no longer be competing on a level playing field, and this will have dire consequences on our economy.

"National made a risky move by ramming the ETS through without proper consultation or consideration of the full impact it would have on our economy. It refused to wait and see what Australia would do, and it is everyday New Zealanders – especially those on low-incomes - who will bear the cost of National’s foolishness,” Mr Boscawen said.



Low-Income NZers To Subsidise Power Companies

A Press Release published by John Boscawen at 3:19pm on 25 Nov 2009 in the following categories: Environment And Conservation .


ACT New Zealand ETS Spokesman John Boscawen today condemned National and the Maori Party for ramming the Emissions Trading Scheme into law today – thereby placing a massive financial burden on low-income New Zealanders.

"Implementation of the ETS will see many families struggling, while electricity companies enjoy windfall profits at their expense," Mr Boscawen said.

"From July 1 2010 all electricity companies will be able to increase their prices five percent, rising to 10 percent by January 1 2013 – regardless of whether they incur any additional costs under the ETS. Power companies generating hydro or geothermal energy – who will not have to pay for emissions – will make huge profits at Kiwi families’ expense.

"Electricity companies charge the same price for power supplied – regardless of their generating costs – with the price dictated by the company with the highest production cost. Companies generating from coal or oil will incur costs for their emissions, pushing up their prices and allowing all other companies to raise their prices.

"Never before in this country’s history has there been such a massive transfer of wealth. National and the Maori Party have squandered the chance to fix this, choosing instead to compensate five iwi while the rest of New Zealand pays the price," Mr Boscawen said


National: Too Lazy, Too Hasty

A Press Release published by John Boscawen at 4:38pm on 23 Nov 2009 in the following categories: Environment And Conservation .


ACT New Zealand ETS Spokesman John Boscawen today expressed disappointment over National's back-door deal with the Maori Party in order to ram through its flawed Emissions Trading Scheme.

"The amended ETS Bill is likely to be rushed into law this week, without being subjected to full public scrutiny. As such, the true cost to the New Zealand taxpayer will not be known for some time, Mr Boscawen said.

"This was completely unnecessary as ACT has consistently agreed to vote with National to defer the introduction of Labour's ETS - in respect to stationary industry and industrial processes - to enable a proper analysis of National's amendments.

"There are many areas where there has been insufficient consideration. Fishing is just one where, from January 1 2013, free allocation of carbon units will be reduced to zero - costing the industry over 25 percent in profit and putting New Zealand jobs at risk.

"In Forestry, there is no reason that a permanent forest cannot be planted on Conservation land for the benefit of all New Zealanders rather than just a few iwi. The inclusion of a Treaty of Waitangi clause is of great concern, as history has shown that the full meaning and costs of such clauses are not known for many years after.

"It is entirely inappropriate for such an important price of legislation – one that will have far-reaching consequences and negative impact – to be rammed through into law just because National is too lazy and too hasty to do the right thing," Mr Boscawen said.


Speech on the Review Of The Emissions Trading Scheme And Related Matters to Parliament

A Speech published by John Boscawen at 2:33pm on 18 Nov 2009 in the following categories: Environment And Conservation .


Parliament is an interesting place. I came down to the House at 20 to eight this evening to do 50 minutes in the house before taking leave of the House at 8.30pm to walk across the road and appear on the Back Benches television programme.

I have appeared in the show three times in about seven weeks. No sooner had I arrived in the House than I was told that the House would not be rising early but going to debate the report of the Commerce Committee on finance company failures.

I sat down to prepare a speech into the enquiry into finance company failures. I am a new person in this chamber and I understood that the Government was going to move a motion that the House defer the debate on finance company collapses until a later time. That motion was not moved and I missed my chance to speak, and there is much I could have said.

However, I was then informed that if we did not debate the report on the finance company failures, we would be debating the Emissions Trading Scheme. That is also an issue that is of real concern to the ACT Party. I intend to use the remaining time in my speech to debate that issue and to respond to some of the comments made by Jeanette Fitzsimons.

Unfortunately because of my other commitments I will not be able to stay in the Chamber to hear the continuation of that debate, and to the speakers that follow me, I apologise. But let us come to the comments made by Jeanette Fitzsimons. She quite correctly said that the Government has gone through a review of the ETS and she said that the review was instigated by the ACT Party. Well, why is that?

First of all, the National Party campaigned on amendments to the ETS, which was passed into late last year. The ACT party, very much a minor party compared to National, a smaller party in terms of the confidence and supply agreement, campaigned on scrapping the ETS. One of the concessions that we negotiated in our confidence and supply agreement was for a full review of the ETS. The Government agreed to a review and it established the Emissions Trading Scheme Review Committee, which Jeanette Fitzsimons referred to. But why is it necessary to review the scheme? Let us look at the reasons why it was necessary?

It was necessary because the ETS is a massive tax on all consumers, all businesses and all taxpayers in New Zealand. It is a massive tax and I will explain. When New Zealand signed the Kyoto Protocol it agreed to limit its emissions during the period 2008 – 2012 to the levels that prevailed in 1999. It is called the ‘first commitment period’. For that five-year period between 2008 and 2012 we agreed that we would emit no more than our 1999 level of carbon dioxide or carbon dioxide equivalents. We further agreed that if we exceeded that level, we would be prepared to pay some money to those who managed to limit their emissions.

In actual fact, in the calculation of that figure we were allowed to take into account the extra absorption of carbon dioxide or the absorption of carbon dioxide by plants and forests. At this stage it loos as though New Zealand will have no net liability for the period up until 2012. The question then becomes what will we have to pay after 2012? Well, we do not know because we have signed no commitment to do so.

It would seem that National is hell-bent on recklessly pushing ahead with its amendments to the scheme with the intention that its proposal should be in law before the Copenhagen conference next month. It has become obvious in recent weeks that no agreement will be reached in Copenhagen – not next December, not next year and probably not even before the Kyoto Protocol expires at the end of 2012.

But let us say that we did reach an agreement to reduce our emissions to this theoretical mystical figure of a 50 percent reduction in 2050, and that we were to commit to that. There are many reasons why we should not, and I will come back to those shortly. But let us say we do. It would mean that New Zealand would essentially have to pay for its excess on a sliding scale. So we start in 2013 and by 2050 we would have to reduce our emissions by 56 percent the following 37, 38 years.

Well what did the Labour scheme say? The Labour scheme said that we will give industry a short time to adapt but we expect them to achieve massive reductions such that they will reduce their carbon emissions to zero by 2030. This means that once those industries allowances reduce to zero, they then have to pay for those extreme emissions above zero, even though the Government does not have to pay that money offshore. If we agreed to that target of 50 percent reduction by 2050, we will still be allowed half of that carbon discharge. So this means that the reductions that companies, industries and emitters are required to achieve are very excessive. They will be paying huge amounts for those emissions despite the fact that New Zealand is not liable for them.

It is then calculated by Treasury that on the basis of Labour’s existing scheme those businesses will be paying in excess of $2 billion a year extra from every year from 2030 onwards. So National wishes to reduce that massive over-taxation. The Labour Party has made much of the fact that Treasury acknowledged to the Emissions Trading Review Committee that the cost of what is being given back is $105 billion. That is a massive figure.
The reason it is given back is that Labour’s scheme took it in the first place. National is trying to achieve with its legislation – making the costs on those higher emitters and those medium intensity emitters more akin to what the taxpayer has to pay.

I would like to come back to that 50 percent target. Jeanette Fitzsimons said that New Zealand was the fourth-highest emitter in the world on a per capita basis. So, shock horror! We are the fourth-highest emitter. One would think that was pretty bad.

Jeanette Fitzsimons did not tell the House that half of those emissions result from agriculture. They result from growing food for the rest of the world. So it is not emissions that are generated by New Zealanders for New Zealanders use. It is not as though New Zealanders drive around in Hummers and 5-litre cars with coal-fired power stations puffing emissions and soot into the air.

We have some very efficient industry; we have some very efficient agriculture. Out emissions profile in unique because half of our emissions are generated as feed the world. We feed the world very efficiently. If we close down our agriculture or we substantially reduce the output of our farmers, that food would have to be grown somewhere else in the world, and I expect that the carbon emissions of those outputs or that production will be far greater than it would have been in New Zealand.

It also means that it has a big bearing on the 50 percent target. The reality is that if our farmers, on the basis of the current science , were to do everything humanly possible - such as nitrogen fixation and the schemes that are available right now – the could reduce their emissions by 13 percent. To achieve that 50 percent target by 2050, it would mean that the other half of the country would have to reduce its emissions by 87 percent. That shows us what an unrealistic target it is for New Zealand to try and achieve a 50 percent reduction by 2050.

It is all very well setting 2015, 2020, 2030 as targets if our scientists can develop a technology, if they can breed grass, if they can reengineer the genetic engineering of sheep and cattle so that they do not burp and they do not discharge methane – well fair enough. In my view it is very, very foolish to sign up to a commitment that we know we cannot meet and to incur huge costs for all New Zealand taxpayers.


Pork-Barrel ETS - The Worst Kind Of Politics

A Press Release published by John Boscawen at 4:39pm on 17 Nov 2009.


Climate Change Minister Nick Smith's secret deal with the Iwi Leadership Group - gifting land to five iwi to gain support for the Government's Emission Trading Scheme proposal is pork-barrel politics of the worst kind, ACT New Zealand MP John Boscawen said.

"The deal is being done behind closed doors to ensure Maori Party support," Mr Boscawen said.

"Treaty settlements with the five iwi occurred over more than a decade. In some instances iwi knew the land they were getting had been discounted to reflect the impending imposition of an ETS. To now ask for additional compensation would result in the New Zealand taxpayer paying twice.

"The deal needs proper scrutiny to ensure transparency and accountability. The ACT Party today pledged its support to National to delay the implementation of its ETS for six months – so that these late changes can be properly considered," Mr Boscawen said.



Government Needs To Put Brakes On ETS

A Press Release published by John Boscawen at 4:07pm on 16 Nov 2009 in the following categories: Environment And Conservation .


ACT New Zealand MP John Boscawen today urged the Government to slow down and await the outcome of negotiations in Copenhagen before rushing any legislation through, following the Finance and Select Committee’s inability to reach an agreement on the Climate Change Response (Moderated Emissions Trading) Amendment Bill.

"The process has been rushed from the start, but there is no need for it to continue this way," Mr Boscawen said.

"ACT recognises that under the existing ETS scheme the stationary energy, industrial processes and liquid fossil fuel sectors come into effect on January 1 2010. ACT would support National in passing legislation to delay this until at least January 1 2011 allowing more time for the following issues to be considered:

• What, if any commitment will New Zealand make beyond 2012? The final outcome of the negotiations in Copenhagen will not be known for a number of years.

• What scheme will Australia adopt? Australia has not yet finalised its own Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme and only yesterday announced that it will no longer be including agriculture. As our ETS scheme is to be aligned with Australia’s, it’s crazy to push through this legislation when we don’t even know exactly what Australia’s scheme will be.

• We do not know what some of our key trading competitors - including the US - will do. By implementing an ETS, we will be putting costs on our exporters and if our trade competitors do not follow suit then we will be at a disadvantage.

• Under Labour’s scheme private property rights were expropriated from many, including forestry owners and this Bill does little to address those injustices.

"ACT believes that, if it must do anything, the Government should introduce a low-level carbon tax rather than an Emission Trading Scheme – which will be difficult and expensive to administer. Looking to the future: if the theory that human action causes climate change is disproved, then an ETS will be even more difficult to reverse.

"Any modelling on the ETS is a theoretical and academic exercise in the absence of knowing exactly what commitments we have. Labour and the Greens are simply scaremongering when they claim that changes to the ETS will add $105m to our external debt by 2050. The reality is no one knows," Mr Boscawen said.