“The Government’s $140 million handout to Bluescope Group to build an electric arc furnace is more corporate welfare from a Government who thinks the answer to everything is spending your money,” says ACT Party Leader David Seymour.
“Emissions won’t be curbed by this policy – they’ll simply change where emissions come from. New Zealand’s emissions are capped under the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) meaning any emissions saved by this project will occur somewhere else.
“This isn’t a climate policy, it’s corporate welfare plain and simple. Every dollar the Government gives to private businesses is a dollar that can’t be spent elsewhere. The Government should cease its various corporate welfare schemes and focus on letting Kiwis keep more of their money through tax relief.
“If the Government wants to take climate change seriously, all it needs to do is announce that emissions under the ETS would be capped capped and reducing in line with reductions of our trading partners. That would reduce emissions by leaving it to emitters to either adopt new technologies to reduce emissions or pay the ETS price. If you emit less, you keep more of your own money.
“After all, the climate doesn’t care which country emissions come from, just the overall quantity.
“Instead, the Government is wasting hundreds of millions on climate policies that don’t lower global emissions. They’ve maximised political theatre while actively rejecting the least-cost path to emissions reduction during a cost of living crisis.
“Rather than meddling in particular industries or picking winners, the Government should be ensuring that we have a functioning ETS which encourages people to reduce emissions at the lowest possible cost.”