25 Sep 2009

Legislation to amend emissions bill passes first hurdle

8:30 am on 25 September 2009

Legislation amending the Emissions Trading Scheme has passed its first reading in Parliament.

The Government's Climate Change Response (Moderated Emissions Trading) Amendment Bill passed with the support of the Maori Party and United Future on Thursday.

Climate Change Minister Nick Smith says claims that the revised scheme will mean taxpayers will subsidise major emitters are not true.

Dr Smith concedes there is a cost in reducing the immediate impact on fuel and electricity prices relative to the current scheme.

However, he says there are also savings as a result of reducing allocations earlier.

Labour MP Charles Chauvel has called on the minister to release all official costings, analysis and Cabinet papers about the scheme.

Dr Smith says officials from several departments are working to collate all the documents prepared for the bill and they will be released in good time.

Green MP Jeanette Fitzsimons says, as things stand, costs will begin to blow out from 2020 to the level of $2 billion a year more than the Government has suggested.

The bill will be sent to the finance and expenditure select committee and is due to be reported back to the House by 16 November.