Govt challenged over ethanol tax break

Published: Wed 10 Sep 2003 08:37 AM
Govt challenged over ethanol tax break
National Party Energy spokesman Gerry Brownlee is challenging the Government to stump up with indisputable scientific evidence to back its arguments for giving the oil industry a multi-million dollar tax carrot.
He's commenting after an announcement by the Government that 'ethanol used in petrol blends is to be free from excise duty for at least two years, in recognition of its environmental benefits'.
"The tax incentive is estimated to be worth between $1.7 million and $3 million a year, but that's likely to increase given the Government's ideological push to use more ethanol," says Mr Brownlee
"I'm challenging the Government to do what the scientific community is still arguing about and that's prove ethanol will help reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
"This completely contradicts the Government's position on the 'flatulence tax' where farmers are being expected to prove the research is being done before they'll be excused from paying the tax," Mr Brownlee says.
"Oil companies don't have to lift a finger, the Government appears to have bought the sales pitch.
"If the Government has indisputable evidence that proves ethanol has a positive impact on greenhouse gases, it needs to lay that on the table," Mr Brownlee says.

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