Buzz from the Beehive
Exempting bikes, electric bikes and scooters from fringe benefit tax looked like something of a sop for a Green Party that had good grounds to grumble after a bunch of climate change measures was tossed on to the PM’s policy bonfire.
The combustibles included the clean car upgrade scheme, public transport improvement (to be applied in five main centres rather than nationwide), the policy to lease clean cars to low-income families, and work on the proposed container return scheme (deferred rather than dumped).
As things turned out, the Greens seized on the fringe benefit tax announcement as a political triumph. Their press statement was headed Greens Secure Win For Clean Transport – and their transport spokesperson, Julie Anne Genter, crowed:
“This is a huge Green win that we have been pushing for many years. It will finally rebalance the tax law to make it easier for people to access e-bikes for commuting to and from work, as well as public transport.”
The Māori Party was not so readily mollified, declaring it was “extremely concerned” with the government’s culling of certain environmental policies, and calling on the climate change minister to stand down because he had failed “dismally”.
This would be Climate Change Minister and Green co-leader James Shaw, who expressed his own disappointment “with some of the choices that were made in terms of the so-called policy bonfire”. Continue reading “While climate change policies are tossed on to Hipkins’ bonfire, the Greens claim victory with fringe benefit tax changes”