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Cross-subsidising polluters not on

David Parker
Associate Finance Spokesperson

16 September 2011

Cross-subsidising polluters not on

The latest report of record dairy sector profits shows the National Government’s decision to further delay making the farming sector pay for agriculture emissions is wrong economically, and unfair to the taxpayers and others sectors of the economy who are cross-subsidising farming, Labour’s Associate Finance spokesperson David Parker says.

“The annual enterprise survey reveals the dairy industry’s income rose 7.9% last year to $10.1 billion while other business incomes fell by 4.2%.Yet while agriculture produces half of all New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, it doesn’t have to pay anything for its agricultural emissions.

“Those record profits show there is no economic justification for this cross subsidy to continue. We all know that the agricultural sector gets many tax breaks under this government.

Their emissions are growing and are already a cost to New Zealand under the Kyoto protocol,” David Parker said.

“The problem is those increased emissions are being paid for not by the agricultural sector but other Kiwis.

“Quite apart from the environmental consequences, this is poor economics.

“Although Labour believes National’s approach to industrial emissions is imperfect, we are willing to go along with it due to the desirability of settling across both main parties.

“However we cannot agree with this plainly wrong decision for agriculture.

“Labour, if elected, would require the agriculture sector to pay for about 10% of their emissions. This is only fair,” David Parker said.

“All New Zealanders currently pay for their power and transport emissions. Why can’t agriculture do its bit?”

ENDS

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