May 4, 2008

Bill Ralston Lays Into Emissions Trading

Bill Ralston uses his column in this morning's Herald on Sunday to hit out the proposed emissions trading scheme

Anytime anyone mentions the words "emissions trading" my eyes roll back in my skull, my head slumps and I enter an almost catatonic state of boredom.

I suspect this is what the Government is counting on most of us doing, otherwise there would have been a riot when it announced details of its emissions trading scheme last week.

If Labour announced it had come up with a cunning plan that would, over the next decade and a half, see 20,000 jobs evaporate, GDP shrink by $6 billion, dairy farms drop in value by 40 per cent, sheep and beef farms become worth a quarter less, you and I have $3000 less to spend every year, retail prices rise and our wage rate fall by $2.30 an hour, I suspect we would be none too pleased.

Yet, according to the highly reputable New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER), this is what the Government's emissions trading scheme will do. The NZIER is not alone in its criticisms, the Sustainability Council argues that under the Government's programme the big polluters will get a free ride, while households, small business and anyone who uses an internal combustion engine on the road will pay through the nose.