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Rural tensions increasing over ETS

Rural News
Rural tensions increasing over ETS

As the July launch date gets near, opposition is building to the Government's introduction of the ETS scheme.

Some of the costs are now being quantified that farmers directly and indirectly will have to pay.

With some sectors struggling for profitability, and recovering from an extensive drought, any extra costs are unwelcome.

Now through Federated Farmers, and some farmers long associated with the National Party, pressure is building on the government to scrap the scheme and align our progress in the ETS with our trading partners, especially Australia.

Cracks began to appear in the Government's traditional rural support base over the introduction of the emissions trading scheme (ETS) as farmers took to the streets in Balclutha yesterday and a National Party branch chairman threatened to resign. The ETS comes into effect in two weeks reports The ODT.

Organiser Rick Cameron said the ETS was a very serious issue that affects all New Zealanders, not just farmers.

Mr Cameron runs 4,500 sheep on a farm at Lovells Flat, and said all the ETS was doing was reducing his profit.

From July 1 the fuel, electricity and industrial process sectors will have to account for their greenhouse gas emissions by buying carbon credits, with that cost passed on to consumers.

The Ministry for the Environment has calculated it will cost an average household $165 a year through a 3.5c a litre increase in fuel and 1.5c a kWh rise in electricity charges, but there will also be secondary cost increases through higher freight and manufacturing charges.

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