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ETS Bill Comes To Parliament On Thursday

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Sept 21 NZPA - The Government will bring its controversial emissions trading scheme bill to Parliament on Thursday and there are no signs an agreement with Labour can be achieved before then.

Prime Minister John Key announced the introduction date today after saying last week a deal had been negotiated with the Maori Party that gives the Government a slender majority for the bill.

An emissions trading scheme (ETS) was passed by the previous government just before the election but National put it on hold and revised it.

In its new form, the ETS gives industries an easier ride and farmers more time before they come under its provisions.

Taxpayers will have to subsidise polluters to a greater extent than under the previous ETS.

The Maori Party has only guaranteed its support on the bill's first reading, so it can be sent to a select committee for public submissions.

Mr Key said he was confident that support would continue through subsequent stages until the bill was passed into law.

Labour accused the Government of bad faith when the agreement was announced, although it was still prepared to talk to National about the ETS.

Party leader Phil Goff said today Labour would oppose the bill on its first reading unless a compromise was reached.

"If the Government indicated they would look again at the huge dollar subsidies that they're going to put into heavy polluting forms, of course we would go back to the table and discuss this," he said.

"For reasons best known to itself, the National Party has opted not to provide a certain and durable agreement, they've reached a quick and dirty agreement."

Mr Goff said it was vital that the select committee process was thorough.

"There are huge fiscal implications, huge costs to New Zealanders," he said.

"Before we start subsidising multinational companies there has to be a full opportunity for public and expert input."

An ETS puts limits on the amount of greenhouse gases different sectors of the economy can emit.

Those that exceed their limit have to buy carbon credits from those under their cap, or from those who plant trees.

The Government will put Parliament into urgency on Thursday to make sure there is time for the bill to pass its first reading.

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