(ACT media release)

“A Federated Farmers poll released today shows what ACT already knew, New Zealanders back our farmers and reject Labour’s farming tax,” says ACT’s Primary Industries spokesperson Mark Cameron.

“The poll conducted by Curia shows that an overwhelming majority of New Zealanders are opposed to New Zealand taking on a farm tax before the rest of the world.

“ACT was the first political party to oppose the tax which will crush sheep and beef farming and increase global emissions. The farm tax will ultimately be a food tax as prices of meat and dairy rise as a result.

“The Government claims it has worked with the agriculture industry, but it has come out with a proposal that doesn’t even resemble what the industry put forward. It doesn’t recognise sequestration, it doesn’t involve farmers in the governance, and the levy will be set by the Minister.

“This illogical policy-making all kicked off when every party but ACT voted for the Zero Carbon Bill. It set a target that farm emissions must reduce 24 per cent below 2017 levels, and how that goal is reached is irrelevant and global emissions are not considered. The solution that Labour has chosen to meet the target is to hammer our farmers and increase global emissions.

“Kiwi farmers are the most emissions-efficient in the world and they’re not praised enough for this, but there’s more work to be done. ACT has four clear principles that should inform any agricultural emissions policy:

• No policy should give away market share to less efficient competitors

• Farmers should be compensated for their absorption and sequestration

• Methane should be measured properly, which it is currently not

• Innovation should be at the forefront of emissions reduction, instead of our current medieval approach to genetic engineering.

“The Prime Minister wants to go on the world stage and say that New Zealand is the first country to price agricultural emissions. But under this proposal we won’t be leading, we’ll be bleeding and we know most New Zealanders don’t support it.

“ACT will repeal the burp tax.”