The National-led Government has “indefinitely postponed” further implementation of its Emissions Trading Scam (ETS), saying “the economic environment means consumers and businesses simply can't afford it.”
"We're not prepared to sacrifice jobs in a weak international environment when other countries are moving very slowly," said John Key.
As signalled in the Government's response to a review of the ETS completed last year, Climate Change Issues Minister Tim Groser announced farmers will not have to buy carbon credits to offset livestock and pasture emissions until at least 2015…
There are a number of problems with this.
First, the date of 2015 is interesting, isn’t it. It’s the year this government fantasises it will finally emerge into surplus. A feat even the Reserve Bank can’t bring itself to believe. No doubt the fantasy of economic growth in the next three years sufficient to allow the government to get back into surplus is linked to the notion of economic growth sufficient to allow agriculture to be included with little economic cost.
Which means it’s unlikely to ever happen at all.
Second, for some years New Zealand Trade Ministers have stumped the globe arguing against agricultural subsidies. But what is this but an agricultural subsidy—as, no doubt, someone sitting across the table in trade negotiations with Tim Groser will soon tell him.
Finally, every argument used in favour of delaying further implementation of this Scam can be used with greater accuracy to support abandoning the stupid scheme altogether. It simply adds costs and costs jobs without any meaningful impact on the climate whatsoever. If extending it further is wrong because in this economic environment “consumers and businesses simply can't afford it,” then having it at all is wrong for the very same reason.
Which it is.