“Labour hasn’t done its homework on the ideological ‘Cash for Clunkers’ scheme, and after realising the policy won’t lower emissions are now trying to claim it’s about ‘equity’,” says ACT’s Transport and Climate Change spokesperson Simon Court.

“It fails on both counts though, it doesn’t lower emissions and it’s wasting taxpayers’ money during a cost of living crisis.

“When asked by ACT what the total emissions reduction is estimated to be from the entire Clean Car Upgrade scheme, Minister of Transport Michael Wood replied “…equity is the primary purpose of the Clean Car Upgrade, it will have a small co-benefit of reducing transport emissions. The size of this co-benefit has been estimated to be between 500 - 4,500 tonnes CO2e.”

“New Zealanders are now expected to buy that this half a billion dollar scheme, which was announced by the Minister under the title “Transport to drive down emissions” is no longer about lowering emissions?

“The Minister needs to explain what is equitable about spending more than half a billion of taxpayer dollars on subsidising the global automobile industry during a cost of living crisis. If the Government really wanted to help Kiwis they could give them a carbon tax refund, which could be put towards cleaner transportation.

“When considering the emissions aspect of the policy, with a cost of $569 million, the Minister has given an answer that could see somewhere between $126,000 and $1,138,000 spent per tonne of CO2e reduced.

“Given the New Zealand ETS price is around $85, for every tonne of CO2 reduced under this scheme you could buy between 1,482 and 13,338 tonnes of emissions credits and shred them.

“The Minister has realised his policy won’t help with emissions, but instead of dumping it he’s trying to act like that was never the point. He should stop making taxpayers pay for his incompetence and get rid of it.

“Michael Wood has already wasted $51 million on a cycle bridge that isn’t happening and has recently announced $7.4 billion for a major transport overhaul in Wellington that adds no extra capacity for drivers. We can’t afford to keep funding his ill-thought-out vanity projects.

“The Government needs to drop the attention-seeking policies that only cost taxpayers and drive up inflation. We need a government that implements policies based on results rather than headlines.”

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Simon Court