May 7, 2008

Paula Oliver Analyses The Policy Change

In today's NZ Herald Paula Oliver looks at the changed policy on climate change

The Government looks like it is retreating on its big climate change push as quickly as it advanced the surprise concept of a 'carbon neutral' New Zealand.
Prime Minister Helen Clark's announcement of a two-year delay to transport's inclusion in the flagship emissions trading scheme yesterday can only be seen as backpedalling.
It is understandable backpedalling - the kind of pragmatic move an experienced politician like Clark makes when she senses the public tide is turning.

She is correct. This is not the issue it was a year ago. The average voter is now worried about short term economic survival. But won't the Greens be angry?

Frankly it doesn't look like Labour cares too much what the Greens are saying right now.
It wants to project an image to the electorate of a Government that is listening to households, is aware of their financial pain, and is willing to do something to help.
In an election year, slapping more costs onto those very households could be political suicide.
That is not a risk that Labour is willing to take - however worthy it might have previously told us such a move was.