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Labour returns to 'Nanny State' politics

Labour returns to 'Nanny State' politics

Federated Farmers is concerned at the interventionist tone of much of the Labour Party's agriculture policy released yesterday.

"Labour plans to intervene in industry structures, further confuse the tax system, meddle with the Reserve Bank Act and create uncertainty around overseas investment in farm land," says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers National President.

"To cap it off Labour is proposing a draconian Emissions Trading Scheme policy which puts New Zealand farmers at a severe disadvantage to international competitors by including animal emissions from 2013.

"If Labour wants New Zealand Agriculture to help pay this country's bills then this policy does not help.

"The ruminant stomach has been around for centuries and science is yet to come up with workable options to make it carbon neutral, so I just don't see the sense in taxing animal owners for something they can't control.

"Adding uncertainty to overseas investment is not a sensible policy for encouraging investment in agriculture. Instead it will lower the price for New Zealand sellers and make it cheaper for foreign investors. This is not the most beneficial outcome for New Zealand.

"There is no mention of important issues, like biosecurity or rural roading in Labour's policy.

"The Federation supports Labour's focus on skills training and its commitment to R&D and greenhouse gas research. We are pleased with Labour's recognition of the importance of getting good broadband to rural New Zealand.

"Pastoral farming is doing okay at the moment because the world wants our food. It is important our export industries are left to compete effectively with the rest of the world.

"Some of the interventions proposed by Labour will not help this. Their ETS policy simply makes us less competitive, putting a major roadblock in the path of this country's efforts to have a growing and vibrant economy.

"Overall, Labour earns a couple of bouquets, but mostly brickbats. This policy is certainly not going to excite or encourage our rural communities," Mr Wills concluded.

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