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Double Talk From National On Emissions Trading

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

National has engaged in sneaky behaviour around the Emissions Trading Scheme, Labour's Climate Change Spokesperson Charles Chauvel says. "National's decision to cut Labour out of ETS negotiations is both disappointing and surprising given comments from Prime Minister John Key in the past fortnight that he would welcome an approach from Labour, and widespread sentiment that a bipartisan agreement between the two major parties was in the best interests of New Zealand," Charles Chauvel said. "There must be doubts about Mr Key's sincerity. It now appears that both he and Climate Change Minister Nick Smith have been playing games rather than acting to get the best deal for New Zealand. "First, Mr Key and Mr Smith yesterday asserted that National initially wrote to Labour seeking discussions on the ETS. Two separate approaches seeking Labour/National talks were originated by Labour. The second one, by me on 30 March this year, did not receive a response until nearly two months later, on 26 May. "They then claimed that Labour Leader Phil Goff's letter to John Key received a reply in 'eight or nine days'. In fact, it took 19 days - Phil Goff's letter was sent on August 14 and the reply came back on September 3. "Nick Smith also claimed he told Labour's negotiating team last Tuesday that he expected some response from Labour by last Friday. That conversation did not happen. I replied to him in good faith by email yesterday at 10.33 am, ahead of what Labour believed was to be a further round of talks today. "Nick Smith then claimed he spoke to David Parker in the House last week to prompt him for a Labour response. That conversation did not happen either. "Finally, Nick Smith says he was 'surprised' at a speech I gave in New Plymouth last week outlining Labour's position on the ETS. My speech simply amplified what is in Labour's minority report to the ETS select committee, and which is publicly available," Charles Chauvel said. "The ETS deal that National has struck with the Maori Party will force Kiwi families to carry the financial burden for National's decision to subsidise big business polluters by billions of dollars in coming years. It seems that details of that deal are still being worked out, with Dr Sharples claiming this afternoon that it includes an increase to benefit levels during the transition period, a claim that Bill English says he knows nothing about. "National's conduct over climate change has been sneaky and shambolic, and the public deserves better from its Prime Minister and government," Charles Chauvel said.

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