Monday, February 24, 2020

Climate Change: Counterproductive

Transport is our second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Any credible effort to reduce emissions to net-zero has to target it. So what is the government doing? Subsidising some of the dirtiest, most inefficient vehicles on the roads:

New Zealand's favourite cars - double cab utes - are largely exempt from a tax on employer-provided benefits like company cars. Even when they would be subject to the Fringe Benefit Tax, the fee is rarely paid, tax policy experts say.

This means New Zealand is effectively subsidising the purchase of high-emitting passenger vehicles by companies, even after the Government scrapped a plan to exempt electric vehicles from the same tax. Now, environmental advocates are calling for the Government to reconsider an FBT exemption for the purchase of electric vehicles and the provision of public transport services.

This is counterproductive, to say the least. Policy should be pushing people towards EVs or more fuel efficient options. Instead, we've done the opposite, and as a result made these gas-guzzling tanks the most popular vehicles on our roads. And meanwhile, NZ First has just shitcanned the EV feebate which would have helped change that. So much for "my generation's nuclear-free moment"...