The co-leader of the Green Party says he is "incensed" at National's proposals to use some of the money raised by the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to fund tax cuts.
James Shaw says that cash should be used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions instead.
Using ETS money to help pay for tax reductions is part of a tax policy outlined by the National Party, which calls it a "climate dividend".
Shaw says that really angers him because it is not a climate dividend at all.
"A climate dividend would go up and down depending on the distributional impact of the carbon price.
"What they are doing is taking the money that is set aside for action on climate change and they are ploughing it into a general tax cut.
"That incenses me, because it is completely irresponsible. It co-opts the language of action on climate change to fund their tax cuts."
National has long argued that inflation has pushed ordinary people into higher tax brackets without becoming any richer in real terms. So it has sought to raise tax thresholds among other changes to "correct years of economic mismanagement by Labour".
The whole cost of National's proposals would be $14.6 billion over four years, according to the party's own numbers. This would be funded by a several things, including using money from the ETS at an average rate of $590 million a year.
"National believes that the best way of reducing the impact (of ETS-derived price rises) is to return ETS revenue back to New Zealanders by a climate dividend," the party says in its official publication.
There have been some suggestions that the use of the term "climate dividend" is misleading because it implies money will be coming in to the public like earnings from stocks and shares.
In fact, it will go into the Government's offers and offset the cost of the tax cuts.
Shaw agrees with the criticism of the National Party's language.
"It is extremely misleading. And look, some years ago we asked people what should we do with the money that is coming in from polluters. Over 90% said it should be recycled into action on climate change, and what National is doing is putting it into the kitty to fund their tax cuts."
At present, Government money is put into a multi billion dollar fund, the Climate Emergency Response Fund (CERF) at a rate proportionate to income from the ETS.
Some of that money is used to help businesses produce cleaner products via the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry (GIDI) fund.
One case in point was the $140 million dollar commitment to help NZ Steel reduce emissions from its plant at Glenbrook.
Shaw worries that further schemes like this are now at risk.
"If National are going to raid the Climate Emergency Response Fund, that means there is no money for decarbonisation, there is no money for GIDI, there is no money for home insulation schemes.....and it is a completely irresponsible approach."
The National Party, though, insists it is not being irresponsible. It argues that the current policies are the wrong ones, not its own proposals. It says the current Government uses ETS money to pay profitable companies to decarbonise when they should be doing it themselves with their own money.
The party goes on to say a rising price for carbon would incentivise companies to reduce emissions with or without the Government telling them to do so or paying for some of the work.
The consequence of that would however be higher prices for the public, which could be mitigated by lower taxes, funded in part by the ETS.