What reports has he received on support for the emissions trading scheme?
The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment says that the emissions trading scheme bill must proceed and that there is no reason to delay it, the Wind Energy Association says that delay risks deterring investment in electricity generation, the Council of Trade Unions says that it is time for industry to step up to the plate on climate change, and the Sunday Star-Times says that it is vital that the emissions trading scheme goes ahead, but still National says delay.
What reports has the Minister seen of people who said that they supported the emissions trading scheme but who have now flip-flopped?
I have seen an item in Carbon News where Nick Smith stated that National will not vote for the emissions trading scheme, even if National gets all of its so-called key principles into the legislation. National has now admitted that it had no intention of supporting this scheme, and its so-called key principles are exposed as “Key excuses”. It seems that the rumours are true—National is making policy according to the way the wind blows, as we have seen this week on KiwiSaver.
Can the Minister confirm that he intends to push the emissions trading scheme bill through Parliament without resolving the very basic and fundamental issue as to whether processors or farmers will be responsible for agriculture emissions because it is this Government’s political objective to get this bill passed so that it can have some great Helen Clark legacy, rather than actually delivering an emissions trading system that will work, and that that is the Government’s greater priority?
I expect that the legislation, when it comes back to the House, will have as its default position the existing position in the bill, which has the point of obligation being the agricultural sector. However, there are some who say that the point of obligation, if it can be practically done, is better at the farm level. Therefore, the bill will allow that decision to be changed between now and about 2010, should—[ Interruption] No, not at all. The default position can be changed. That does not mean to say that the legislation is not fit to proceed.
Has the Minister seen reports that Horticulture New Zealand advised the select committee this morning that the regime as currently planned would impose an additional $40 million cost on the industry, presumably to be borne by consumers, and has he seen the report that Meat New Zealand last week advised the select committee that it expected the regime to increase meat prices by 180 percent; if he has seen those reports, can he advise the House how New Zealand households will be compensated for those increased costs?
I will deal with the latter of those two matters. That suggestion is so nonsensical that the people should be pilloried who turned up to the select committee and said it. We are told week after week, month after month, and year after year that New Zealand food prices for export commodities are set by the export commodity price, because that is what drives price as that is where most of the product goes. It just defies logic that anyone can then turn up to a select committee and say that that will all of a sudden be different because of an emissions trading scheme, and that food prices in New Zealand will double.
I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. My question was in two parts; the second part related to compensation. The Minister said he would deal with the second part, and then proceeded not to.
Normally, Ministers are obliged to answer only one supplementary question, but if the Minister wishes to add anything he can do so.
I replied to the second of three parts that were contained in the question. In terms of compensation issues, as the Prime Minister has already said, issues relating to compensation for households relating to electricity prices are under consideration.
I seek leave to table the complete statement that was made to Carbon News, which was consistent with John Key’s speech on the emissions trading scheme, and that was that the—
Leave is sought to table that document. Is there any objection? Yes, there is objection.
It appears there might be two documents, so I seek leave to table the one that states that National will not vote to pass the legislation, even if its six key demands are—