ACT pushing for Carbon Fart Tax

Mark Hubbard's picture
Submitted by Mark Hubbard on Tue, 2008-11-18 05:31

Can someone please clarify. ACT's notion of eliminating the ETS is to push National toward the Carbon Fart Tax NOW.


That seems to be how the media are portraying it. If so, then an utter betrayal of the rural sector. And why this when Hide has been clear in his belief there is no man-made climate change?

I can't find any links to details on this: does anyone have same?

( categories: )

Good work, Gregster

Jameson's picture

Keeping those compulsion touters on their toes! Smiling

Email sent to all ACT again

gregster's picture

"Thankyou for your comments Andrew. You were correct your candidate in Pakuranga received my electorate vote.

Nice to hear since of the moratorium of sorts. Here's hoping.

A relevant article here
found here in NZ

The original exchange was published here:

Regards and good luck.


(488 reads 12:09 4/12/08)

Didn't you say some years

Duncan Bayne's picture

Didn't you say some years back that the Business Roundtable would have opposed the gassing of Jews because the gas was expensive? At the time I thought that might have been a bit unkind; now I see you were right on the money.


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The problem with the

Mark Hubbard's picture

The problem with the Business Roundtable (and why they are so attack-able by their enemies), is that they have just the thinnest veneer of philosophy, a mere pastiche of random bits and pieces, which no doubt they call capitalism, and once you break through it, they end up in this lethal pragmatism according to which the point seems to be finding the best deal on a spade to dig your own grave with.

Interestingly ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... while it appears Rodney is happy to assure you guys all is well, he hasn't replied to me.

And today, the following came out from the Roundtable, whence Rodders gets his riding instructions:


No U-Turn on Carbon Tax
The Business Roundtable has welcomed National Party leader John Key’s indication that the new government will be willing to consider the merits of a carbon tax vis-à-vis an emissions trading scheme (ETS) as a response to climate change.

Executive director Roger Kerr said that its belief that a carbon tax might be superior to an ETS was not a reversal of its earlier views.

“We opposed the previous government’s carbon tax proposal not because we thought an ETS was better. We opposed it, first, because there was no rigorous analysis to indicate that taking any additional action was in New Zealand’s interest at that time, and, secondly, because we did not support the government’s ‘lead the world’ approach of taking action ahead of major trading partners such as the United States and Australia.

“Australia has now ratified the Kyoto Protocol and the new US administration may have a different approach to the issue. So in our submission on the emissions trading bill last year (see attached extract) we indicated a preference for a carbon tax, coupled with a subsidy for forestry sinks, if New Zealand were to take additional action.”

Mr Kerr said that this position was based on the overwhelming weight of opinion among eminent economists that a tax/subsidy regime is superior to a tax, for the reasons set out in the Business Roundtable’s submission.

“In addition, there is political advantage in beginning with a low tax (we suggested in the $5-10 per tonne of CO2 range) in that firms and households would have greater certainty about the impact and might therefore be more willing to support what has to be a stable, long-term policy.”

Mr Kerr said that some business sector players were approaching the issue from the viewpoint of their interests in benefiting from trading in carbon rather than the national interest.

“Moreover, forestry interests would not be disadvantaged with a tax/subsidy regime instead of an ETS because they would receive a subsidy for carbon sinks associated with tree planting.”

Mr Kerr said that the Australian Productivity Commission had recommended that Australia begin with a modest carbon tax and transition to an ETS if a deep, liquid international trading market developed (which is not in prospect at present).

“We think the select committee that will review the ETS legislation should seriously consider a similar approach, provided it is presented with sound analysis from government officials that taking additional action is in New Zealand’s interests”, Mr Kerr concluded.

19 November 2008
For more information contact:
Roger Kerr
Executive Director
Ph: +64 4 499 0790

Extract from New Zealand Business Submission on the Climate Change Emissions trading and Renewable Preference) Bill

February 2008

“At a high level, an emissions tax (coupled with a subsidy for carbon sinks) and an emissions trading scheme are similar. Both have the desirable property (compared with regulations) of being price-based, thus allowing participants in markets to determine least-cost ways of reducing emissions. A tax/subsidy scheme establishes a price and allows markets to determine the quantity of emissions. An ETS sets permitted levels of emissions and allows trading in markets to determine carbon prices.

The Bill favours an ETS over a carbon tax on the grounds that it is in line with the quantitative framework established by the Kyoto Protocol and would provide more fiscal certainty for the government. However, the last point is not a national interest justification since what is good for the public accounts is not necessarily good for New Zealanders. Further, as the proposed ETS shifts an increasing proportion of the burden of the Kyoto liability onto the private sector after 2013, the fiscal cost will fall, and could become a large surplus.

We have extensively researched the academic literature and found that the overwhelming majority of eminent economists who have studied this issue favour a tax/subsidy scheme over trading. Their reasoning is typically as follows:

· A tax provides much greater certainty for business and investment decisions. With an ETS, prices may be extremely volatile, as EU experience has shown. The economic costs of volatility may be very high.

· If a tax/subsidy scheme does not generate an emission reduction path that is consistent with international targets, it can be adjusted from time to time, like other taxes. Because global warming is a very long-term issue, any deviations from desired quantity targets can be corrected if warranted. Such periodic adjustments (say every 5 or 10 years) would not reintroduce significant uncertainty. In any case there is uncertainty about the optimal number of permits to issue – making this a learn-as-you-go exercise also.

· A tax/subsidy scheme is a transparent instrument which is subject to parliamentary oversight and facilitates clear accountability to voters. An ETS is not transparent, which is no doubt why it is attractive to politicians in some other countries (although a number have imposed carbon taxes instead of or as well as an ETS).

· An ETS is much more open to political favouritism and abuse than a tax/subsidy regime. This has been clearly demonstrated by EU experience. The Bill provides for a great deal of ministerial and bureaucratic discretion which could well lead to inefficient, unfair and, at worst, corrupt outcomes.

· A carbon tax would raise revenue for the government which could be applied to reducing other distortionary taxes, in particular income tax. This was the recommendation of the 2001 (McLeod) Tax Review which favoured a tax rather than a trading approach.

· A tax/subsidy regime is likely to be simpler and less costly to administer and comply with.

At no stage did the Business Roundtable oppose a carbon tax proposal – our earlier concern was (and remains) that any intervention should be rigorously justified. We see a tax/subsidy regime as a better initial option for New Zealand, until such time as it is clear that a viable international market for trading has developed. That was also the view of the Productivity Commission of Australia in a 2007 report.

We consider that an initial tax should be set at a low level. This is in line with earlier government thinking which recognised the limited opportunities for emission reductions in the short to medium term. We suggest that an initial tax should not exceed the $5-10 per tonne of CO2e range. This would already be a significant burden for some emitters. For New Zealand Steel, for example, which emits around 2 million tonnes of CO2 annually, a tax of $10/MT would represent a cost of $20 million. This would be a severe hit to its profitability and put jobs at risk.”

Another reply

gregster's picture

From: []
Sent: Wednesday, 19 November 2008 1:00 p.m.
To: V. Ashworth
Cc:;;;;;;;;;;; Greg;;;;;;;;;;;;
Subject: Re: Climate Kooks and Traitors

Hear hear Vince.

Sad to say I think that whatever his name is, he is one of us.

Whilst I wholeheartedly disagree with what and how he says his piece, we need to be mindful that he is representative of our supporters. As Bruce quite rightly said on the weekend we need to start letting our members know of the significance of our coalition agreement, and the long term goals. For example we need to communicate just what we believe we will achieve out of such things as the Special Task Force. this is especially important to do now to make sure it goes the right way and also in case it gets hijacked by the left.

ACT is in a unique position that we have not experienced before. As part of the government we have the ability to make a difference, but we also need to openly and regularly communicate that with our supporters, without undermining the coalition. As in the past any absence or gap from us will be filled by our opposition - as Rudman quite inadequately shows in this mornings Herald.

Margaret Alldred [to all]

No Andrew, he is not in my database.



Rodney replied suggesting

Duncan Bayne's picture

Rodney replied suggesting that he didn't know what I was talking about & that I shouldn't believe the Herald (which, in fairness, is 100% correct) ... so I suggested he put out a presser ASAP if they're misrepresenting ACTs policies.


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Rodney's response

Mark Hubbard's picture

(I have not asked Rodney if I can print his response, but as it retrieves his position, somewhat, I don't think he would object).


From Rodney:

I certainly don't want a carbon tax !!!!!!

We have always said no response is best, but that a carbon tax is better than ets -- cos its easier to get rid of later -- but that's a long way from wanting a tax.


My final response, and end of the matter for me:

Thanks for this Rodney.

That's vague, for my liking, and political maneuvering that I'm not comfortable with - when has a tax ever been imposed, then done away with? I know there's been a few, but they're a rare animal. No tax at all please. But with that, you have been seriously mis-represented in the media over this, it would appear - did you see how the network news spun this last night?

I sent a scathing missive around my rural client base, and will now be sending another, retracting, well, partially, regardless, stating your clear position for no carbon tax. I think you better start penning your own press releases though from now on.

Regards Mark







Mark Hubbard's picture

Hi Rodney

I've been reading that article again:

And the significant sentence is as I recited in my last email, namely, "Act, a party of climate change sceptics, campaigned on a policy to abolish the scheme altogether. It wants a carbon tax. "

Yet, other comments about ACT in that same Herald article could be read to the reverse - it's that single sentence quoted that is damning: is that a quotation of someone in the party? Also, the One News Coverage last night supported the notion of ACT 'wanting' a carbon tax?

I hope this is wrong, and if so, I'll retract. More, I'd love your clarification in a form I could email around my farming client base.

Regards Mark


Mark Hubbard's picture

Given your reply to my email, that is, you state "i have no idea what you are talking about", and as I linked to this thread in my email, I hope it means you're also reading this.

If anything in the comments below are factually wrong, then here is the place to debate it. I would love to be proven wrong, but I can't see how I can be. Your current position as explicated in the Herald, and given on the network news last night, is a betrayal.


Yes/No? Why not?

Great note Duncan. I've

Mark Hubbard's picture

Great note Duncan.

I've just sent my thoughts to Rodney, Heather Roy, and Sir Roger.


I'm not repeating all my email here, but it started by stating that many farmers voted for them despite their still ill feeling toward Douglas (and despite me telling them whenever the topic arises they owed their prosperity over the last ten years to his deregulation, and that it did not go far enough).

My email then ended with, "and you're about to doom your party to another rural grudge for the next twenty years".


(On the bright side, Libz may be looking to do a much better showing over 2011 Smiling )


Duncan Bayne's picture

Oh, and for anyone who supported National / ACT instead of the Libertarianz: we told you this would happen.

Time and time again this has happened, throughout history: politicans have promised change, have enumerated countless fantastic principles on paper, and have immediately backflipped into mediocrity upon being elected.

Why on earth did any of you take them seriously this time? To put it bluntly: wishing won't make it so, and every man and woman here should know that.


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Sent to Rodney

Duncan Bayne's picture

I just sent this through to Rodney ... will post a response if I get it.

On your website you say:

"That no New Zealand government will ever impose needless and unjustified taxation or regulation on its citizens in a misguided attempt to reduce global warming or become a world leader in carbon neutrality."

... and then you go and lend your support to a carbon tax. That's some speedy work; usually politicians wait until they're established in office to abandon their principles. I guess there's no sense in delaying the inevitable is there?


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What they achieved is a

Mark Hubbard's picture

What they achieved is a tribute not only to their negotiating skills but also to their courage and tenacity. Among a group of heroes Rodney stood out and we should all be thankful for what he and the others achieved.


Mmm, lets see.

A tax.

From a man whose top three electioneering points included no ETS because he did not believe in man-made climate change - and many of my farming clients voted on just this point alone - a tax that in theory has the sole objective of fixing climate change.

In other words, a state sanctioned theft through an outright fraud.


Wow, let's all bow down to the hero Rodney.

(I'd be happy if you sent this back to the one who emailed you Greg, and include a link to this SOLO thread, telling them we would welcome debate here.)

Reply from a "V Ashworth" of ACT

gregster's picture

Re: Climate Kooks and Traitors
"The views of anyone who uses intemperate language of this sort are to be placed where they should be - in the rubbish or better still flushed down the toilet. Rodney and the negotiating team faced a daunting task when up against the anti-reform of any sort national party. What they achieved is a tribute not only to their negotiating skills but also to their courage and tenacity. Among a group of heroes Rodney stood out and we should all be thankful for what he and the others achieved. The coalition agreement, if properly implemented will set NZ on a path or real recovery and real prosperity. If Greg Davis, whoever he is, believes what he says and has the courage of Rodney then he will make a submission to the Special Task Force to be set up under the agreement. The we will see who is right."

She (?) copied it to all 20 or so others complete with errors. Smiling

Good, Rodney and ACT deserve to loose!

mvardoulis's picture

Maybe next time LibertariaNZ can run on (among many other positive things) the betrayal of the right: "NACT" as it were. The cliche goes "If you always do what you've always done you'll always get what you always got" - I'm reminded of Charlie Brown and Lucy from the Peanuts comic strip where for the entire 50 year run of the strip Lucy is convincing Charlie Brown that she will not pull away the football right before he kicks it, causing our semi-bald hero to fall flat on his arse, yet she *always* does, and he *always* falls for it.

In the meantime, I sincerely hope you kiwis bust his fucking balls for it!

Sent to every email address at ACT:

gregster's picture

"Climate Kooks and Traitors

Dear Rodney,

I will be extremely disappointed if ACT allows any forms of legislation relating to "Climate Change" unless it is to mitigate the approaching cooler years ahead.

You know as well as I do that the talk of anthropogenic warming is nonsense.


I'm still hoping you have something up your sleeve - a rabbit to pull from your hat.

We will mark you out as 'Enemy No. 1" if you continue in this manner.

Below is a contribution I made to a website more than a year ago. It still stands as the truth.


Greg Davis"

Yes, but my problem with

Mark Hubbard's picture

Yes, but my problem with ACT is this.

The Greens want to introduce carbon taxes/ETS's because they 'believe' in climate change and that man can affect same (okay, I'm probably giving some of them more honour than they deserve): this merely makes them stupid, and, of course, Statists.

But consider the case of Rodney. He is on record that he does not believe in man-made climate change, and yet, he pushes a carbon tax that can therefore, under his own terms of reference, achieve nothing. This is, thus, and on the best possible casting, a fraud. A rank, very cynical, theft, with no attempt to cover it. At the worst I can't think what you would call such a betrayal.

And he is obviously out of touch, just like the previous government was. I've talked to many farmers who had to get over a lot of psychological Douglasian hurdles to vote ACT, but they did, and on a single issue: ETS. They will never forget this betrayal: Rodney was very clear on what he believed coming up to November 8th. 

So, just one week and two days into government, between the stirrup and the ground, Rodney has already lost the next election. And, of course, his honour.

The myth of the right...

mvardoulis's picture

The right wing in any country would have those of us who bother paying attention believe they are going to be less intrusive than the left. Reality is, the only difference between right and left is the method and beneficiaries of their particular flavor of statism. Doesn't matter as long as they can get your vote...

Well at least a 'fart tax'...

Marcus's picture something people in NZ are willing to protest against. The absurdity of it is quite transparent. Wheras the ETS is a new thing most voters don't really see the consequences of, a bit like indirect taxation.

Yes Glenn, over the next

Mark Hubbard's picture

Yes Glenn, over the next three years you may be reminded, constantly, of the meaning of hoise, as in:


: hoist 1
— hoist with one's own petard or hoist by one's own petard
: victimized or hurt by one's own scheme.

Heard this on the news...

Jameson's picture

Yeah, it's all true alright. Appears the bastards are going to make a sucker out of me before the month is even out. :-/

Follow e-letter has just

Mark Hubbard's picture

Following e-letter has just gone out to my farming clients (I've no time to reactivate all the links):


Read this and weep:


"Act, a party of climate change sceptics, campaigned on a policy to abolish the scheme altogether. It wants a carbon tax. "

My opinion: traitorous, lying, rotten sods. The first thing a NACT Government does is NACT'ker the economy. I can't believe that the first thing Hide does in power, is advocate for yet another tax, and the fart tax!! ACT said nothing about wanting a carbon tax through the election. They made it seem like they were your friend in wanting to get rid of an ETS.

Unbelievable. It took exactly one week and two days for this government to turn traitor and stab you all in the back. And I know many of you were single issue voting for ACT on this issue.

What was the solution? You should have voted for me .... The Libz got only eight votes in Selwyn - with another 104,221 votes we could have fixed this for you properly, by ordering the government and its bureaucrats from your farms, where they have no right to be.

I'm gutted. The solution to 'any' problem, will never be found by politicians, for they are the problem.

... back to work for me. It's the same old same old.

I give up. And lots of work to get through from this point, so you'll be hearing a little less of me ...

Regards, in despondency, Mark.

Oh, anthropogenic (man-made) climate change: it's rubbish. This carbon tax is for nothing at all:

For anyone who wants it, I can send a raft of articles that indicate the bogus nature of the science on climate change.

Enough's enough Lineberry

gregster's picture

Look here- your grip with reality is tenuous. You were so far out of touch with the national swing against your preferred Labour party that my wager for a mere 3% lead by National was, to me (and most others), a safe bet.

ACT hate increases in taxation.

You are wrong that it will support any legislation for the sake of more theft by taxation.

Thanks Richard, that's it -

Mark Hubbard's picture

Thanks Richard, that's it - great link.

To quote that article:

Act, a party of climate change sceptics, campaigned on a policy to abolish the scheme altogether. It wants a carbon tax.

Regarding ACT, and now NACT, the words lying, traitorous, cowardly bastards comes to mind.

I think my new signature from now on: NACT - same old same old. Just over a week to confirm the fact.


Vote NACT, and NACK'ter the economy with another imposition of force: the first thing Rodney does, is advocate a mysticism based tax. 

Blooooodddddyy Hell.

ACT will support absolutely

Elijah's picture

ACT will support absolutely ANYTHING which increases taxation in New Zealand.

I expect Rodders will introduce the legislation within a month and the betrayed New Zealand farmers will have to pay it.

I doubt that ACT would be

Richard Wiig's picture

I doubt that ACT would be pushing that. Nick Smith certainly would though.

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