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Blue is the New Green: National’s Bag Tax UPDATE

March 30th, 2009 by Madeleine

Just like a bad sitcom National has its own token greenie, MP Nick Smith. Presumably because we are in the wake of Earth Hour, he’s announced a new token green policy proposal – bag tax.

I say token, because we all know where the money will go, into the pockets of the supermarkets; it doesn’t take a genius IQ to work out who it will hit most, those who cannot afford to shell out for a sufficient supply of re-usable eco bags and, as Whaleoil points out (like Earth Hour) this is just feel good enviromentalism, it actually isn’t likely to make an impact.

So why then is National allowing this rubbish into our wallets?

UPDATE: It appears they are not!

Mr Key said there was no way he was going to support a charge that was in effect a tax going into the coffers of supermarkets. “My preference is to find a voluntary and industry-led solution,” he said.”I’ve made that very clear to the minister.”

Asked whether he would preferred to have known in advance about both issues, he replied: “I think it would be more useful if I found out about things before I read about them in the newspaper.

Sounds like Nick won’t be getting any new lines for a while.

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5 responses so far ↓

  • There are much bigger problems than this for NZ. How about politicians spending time on things that matter?

    We have Hide trying to get rid of excessive regulation on one hand and Smith trying to increase it on the other.

    And the whole thing is silly, people use the bags for other things that such as rubbish bags for home and they will just have to buy an alternative making no difference long term.

    Why doesn’t the government just advocate converting rubbish to oil or energy?

  • “it actually isn’t likely to make an impact”

    I disagree. My family won’t use plastic bags if they start charging for them. We’ll just use cardboard boxes which are free. plastic bag consumption would suffer a huge decrease.

    I have no problem with supermarkets charging for bags – whatever they’re made of. Of course, it becomes ridiculous when you have the Government enforcing a policy like this.

  • By the way, have you seen this video by Hannan. I was aware of it a few days ago but only just got around to viewing it.

  • That is precisely the point Andy, if a supermarket wants to charge for their bags, for whatever reason they like, then that is their choice; I take no issue with that at all.

    However, it is well beyond the scope of government to formulate and enforce such policies. Like Bethyada said, National have given Rodney Hide the task of seeking out such nonsense and here they are implementing more of it.

    You are not wrong though Andy that putting a charge on the bags will decrease their use. We only succumbed to buying eco bags when our local supermarket implemented a charge for bags and now we never have plastic bags when we need them for plastic bag type tasks. However, it is the supermarket’s place to decide to do this, not the government’s.

  • Thanks Bethyada, we loved it so much we played it to our kids, who thought it was hysterical (though I had to translate Аппаратчик to them – high school Russian classes finally getting some use) and then we decided to share it.