Responding to the Government's $2.8 million handout to onion growers, New Zealand Taxpayers' Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, "This is an eye-watering display of protectionist subservience to New Zealand's influential onion lobby."
"It undermines the spirit of our planned free trade agreement with the UK. How can we claim to support free and fair trade when we're giving local onion growers an unfair handout?"
"What happens when our trade partners respond to our onion subsidy with local onion subsidies of their own? Do we just keep throwing money at the industry in a taxpayer-funded international bidding war?"
"New Zealand farmers learned to live without subsidies following reforms in 1980s. This kind of backward agri-socialist cronyism sets a dangerous precedent that will see Big Potato and Big Avocado clamoring for handouts of their own."
"The only way to win this game is not to play. Let our onion growers stand on their own feet. New Zealand onions are tasty and affordable enough to beat foreign onions any day of the week, no handout needed."