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Government in the Clouds over Kyoto Tax

Despite assurances to the contrary the Government seems hell bent on imposing a greenhouse gas tax on farmers, says Federated Farmer's New Zealand Meat and Fibre Producers Chair Ian Corney.

"NZMFP endorses Meat New Zealand's statement that farmers oppose using the Commodity Levies Act to collect the Government's greenhouse gas taxes.

"The Commodity Levy Act allows levy payers to decide whether to fund research, farmers have fought for years to achieve this level of transparency and accountability. This flatulence tax cuts across priorities set in the normal business plan process.

"The Government needs to realise it is jeopardising Meat New Zealand and SheepCo's quest for a Commodity Levy by imposing their priorities. Adding insult to injury the Government's flatulence tax consultation meetings undermine the boards' consultation process.

"The poll-driven Government is treating rural New Zealand as a captive target. Farmers are not in a position to pick up and leave the country. Government is passing the buck onto rural New Zealand because it can; after all there are not many farmers in Auckland.

"The Government ratified the Kyoto Protocol ahead of our major trading partners and nationalised forest sink credits from trees planted on our land. Now they are trying to dictate how farmers invest their levies.

"Farmers are not whingers, they have every right to question initiatives that single them out as the only ones who should take responsibility for the environment."

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