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Government Passing The Buck on Greenhouse Gas Research Funding

The Government needs to stop passing the buck to rural New Zealand for the Kyoto commitments it made on behalf of all New Zealanders says Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc.) President Tom Lambie.

The Government's Agricultural Emissions Research Funding discussion document released today outlines a proposal to collect and manage farmer money to fund research to reduce on-farm emissions under the Kyoto Protocol.

"The Federation has always opposed the imposition of a livestock levy to fund research aimed to benefit all New Zealanders," said Mr Lambie.

"Reducing the proposed research tax on farmers to $8.4 million from the previously suggested $20 million is little comfort to the farming community. Threatening to tax farmers a further $50-125 million per annum between 2008 and 2012 is even less likely to gain their support."

"First the Government ratifies the Kyoto Protocol ahead of our trading partners. Then they take the forest sink credits we created from planting trees on our land. Now the Government is telling us to pay for research to reduce emissions with limited likelihood of beneficial impact and which no-one else in the world is bothering with."

"This decision is yet another example of the Government's desire to act in the wider public interest but expecting rural New Zealand to pay for its largesse."

"The Government needs to front up to the commitments it agreed to on behalf of all New Zealanders by funding this research from the consolidated fund," Mr Lambie concluded.

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