Green Smog Envelops ETS

Press release from Act deputy leader Hon John Boscawen

In a joint press release today, New Zealand’s and Australia’s Greens are now trumpeting the seemingly imminent imposition of a carbon tax in Australia and the superiority of such a tax over New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme, notes ACT New Zealand Parliamentary Leader John Boscawen.

This, in advance of Australian Green Senator Bob Brown’s visit to New Zealand to speak to the Greens’ annual conference this weekend.

“As it happens, ACT agrees that if one is to have either, on the untenable premise that CO2 is a pollutant, then a low, transparent tax would be preferable to the ETS. It at least makes the ‘polluter’ (read: anyone engaged in productive activity) pay,” says Mr Boscawen.

“Where the NZ Greens display typical confusion is in repeating the claim that the ETS subsidises ‘polluters.’

“It’s a subsidy all right …  only, as the ACT Party has argued for years, a subsidy to foresters, one that effectively pays them to buy high country land and plant trees while burdening everybody else with higher power, petrol and food costs.

“A tax would be preferable only as the lesser of two evils, one that could easily be morphed into the greater of them in the event of the rest of the world – and our major trading partners in particular – being misguided enough to go down that path, requiring us to follow suit.

“If the Greens truly wanted to make a contribution to a less polluted environment they would abandon their animus  against modern civilisation and embrace genuine free market solutions to legitimate environmental concerns, not punitive distortions involving taxes and subsidies,” Mr Boscawen concludes.