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If farmers don’t pay, the rest of us pay for them



Environment Spokesperson

If farmers don’t pay, the rest of us pay for them

Prime Minister John Key is at sixes and sevens over the issue of the agriculture sector contributing to the Emissions Trading Scheme, and clearly doesn’t even understand his own policy, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Charles Chauvel.

“He is criticising Labour’s plan to bring the sector into the ETS in 2013 on the grounds that no other country in the world will be doing it by then, but National’s own policy --- to bring the sector in by 2015 --- would still be ahead of any other country,” Charles Chauvel said.

“Where’s the coherence or logic in his position? There isn’t any.

“He misses the vital point entirely. If farmers don’t pay their fair share, then the rest of us will be forced to pay the bill. That’s not on, as far as Labour is concerned. Kiwi families are already struggling to make ends meet.”

Charles Chauvel said John Key is constantly changing the goalposts of his ETS policy.

“In November getting agriculture into the ETS was a priority because ‘our international reputation with overseas customers’ was at stake.

“But, wait for it, John Key now says that agriculture will only go into the scheme if other countries do the same.

“The fact is that farmers actually rely on New Zealand's reputation as being clean and environmentally friendly,” Charles Chauvel said. “They benefit from that reputation. They should be paying their fair share of maintaining it.”

Charles Chauvel said that Labour’s plan to introduce a new Research and Development tax credit to boost the economy will be funded through farmer carbon tax contributions.

“The R and D tax credits will benefit the agriculture sector as well by helping to develop the technologies agriculture needs in a carbon-constrained world.:”


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