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Federated Farmers keen to flesh out Labour’s policy detail

Federated Farmers keen to flesh out Labour’s policy detail

The Labour Party’s Monetary Policy announcement will provide plenty of material for the Federation to engage with the Party over.

“We may be swimming against the tide but there are elements in Labour’s Monetary Policy which has some merit,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President.

“Of course we are talking high-level and the devil will be in the detail, but I wish to first caution any party from assuming inflation has gone the way of Rinderpest. The moment you lose focus on inflation it will be back faster than a rat up a drainpipe.

“Giving the Reserve Bank the means to adjust universal KiwiSaver savings rates, as an alternative to raising interest rates, does genuinely strike us as innovative.

“We’re certainly not so quick to rush to judgement on such a policy as if it works, it could potentially boost savings while relieving pressure on both the Official Cash Rate and the Kiwi dollar.

“Whatever happens, it will need work to make sure it’s feasible, workable and equitable, given this policy could squeeze low and middle income earners.

“Federated Farmers is very happy to see that Labour will maintain the Reserve Bank’s independence and inflation target. We’re also pleased to see inflation in the non-tradable sector being fingered by Labour too.

“Even when running a surplus, what remains unanswered in Labour’s ‘monetary policy needs mates’ equation, is the pressing need for fiscal prudence. If imprudent government spending takes off to deliver on political deals then it will kneecap monetary policy.

“We need the next government to truly cut its cloth because it is our money being spent.

“Federated Farmers is sceptical about a Capital Gains Tax. Aside from becoming just another tax, a CGT hasn’t dropped the price of houses in Britain or Australia, which, incidentally, are regularly advertised for sale in Asian newspapers.

“We also detect a hardening of Labour’s position on foreign investment in farmland, despite there being no research on whether it is a problem or not. We are equally concerned with the government’s laissez-faire attitude and wrote last year to Ministers requesting research.

“Before we go soft or hard on foreign investment, should we not first have the data?

“A mistake here will do untold economic damage affecting every kiwi because there are billions of reasons to get foreign investment policies right and each reason is called a dollar. Especially with our exports cracking the $50 billion barrier in the year to March.

“We are further worried that the NZ Power initiative could increase costs on businesses while a stringent Emissions Trading Scheme in tandem with Resource Rentals, will put a Sword of Damocles over the productive sector’s head.

“Aside from the political digs that could easily be returned with interest, there are certainly aspects we’d like to get more detail on from Labour,” Mr Wills concluded.
Ends

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