What do we get, Dr Smith?

Update

The minister’s reply was received on 22 September. You can read it here.


Yesterday Nick Smith, Minister for Climate Change, told Parliament that our citizens must “contribute” a “significant” amount towards the government’s climate change targets.

He thinks they should give about $30 per week per family. We agree that is “significant”. Barry Brill, former National Energy Minister, who prompted Rodney Hide’s question to the minister, asserted it will be more like $112 per week.

Now that’s more like political suicide. Incredible! Incredible, because Nick Smith hasn’t refuted it, he’s only disagreed with it, but, more importantly, he hasn’t told us what we get for it. Hope they check the price, too.

“We’ll charge you this amount, unless we charge four times more. Sign here, OK?”

We’re horrified at this public expression of disdain from our bright new National government towards the people of New Zealand, who haven’t been consulted over this life-threatening new tax. Yes, life-threatening; that’s a huge amount to take out of household budgets, even if the economy wasn’t already struggling.

Seen the jobless figures lately? The unemployment rate is 6.0% and there are 138,000 people unemployed, the highest since 2000.

The other thing about our citizens: a huge majority scorn the carbon reduction targets. In the Herald’s recent online poll (admittedly, not a scientific instrument) 89% voted that the targets were unachievable. Only 11% disagreed.

Our question for Nick Smith (prompted by Prof. Bob Carter) is: “How much global warming, in degrees C, will be averted by NZ families sacrificing $30 per week, perhaps more, for the next several decades?”

This question is direct and reasonable and should have been already answered by the government. It should have been broadcast loudly. We should all know it off by heart. It is the sort of question asked by every organisation to justify not just some, but every large expenditure: “What do we get for our money?” Everybody asks this, but not these Nats, it seems.

So what do we get, Dr Smith? What do we get for something that will cost our families from $30 to $112 each and every week from now until the utmost limits of our parliamentary majority? What do we get?

It had better be something pretty wonderful.

We will ask the question until it’s answered, Dr Smith.

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