The Botched Budget includes a $200 million fund to drown farmers in tough regulations and excessive bureaucracy, National’s Agriculture spokesperson Nathan Guy says.

“David Parker and Damien O’Connor were both supporters of nutrient and water taxes in the recently ditched Tax Working Groups report. They now have a taxpayer war chest disguised as the “Agriculture Transition and Sustainable Land Use” fund to regulate farmers and grow bureaucracy in Wellington which is a real worry.

“Research funding for Agriculture Climate Change initiatives simply continues work National was already doing but is only band aid funded for 12 months. This sends a clear signal that the Government expects farmers and industry to fund this through Agriculture entering the ETS.

“Farmers don’t trust this Government and are already really worried about the following:

  • An unrealistic methane target in the Climate Change Bill.
  • $130 million for the 1 billion trees programme which has the potential to hollow out rural communities.
  • Government changes to the Overseas Investment Office which mean trees are gobbling up productive pastoral land.
  • $360 million more in fuel taxes over the next two years.

“We are the world’s most efficient producer of food and farmers have invested $1 billion of their own money in environmental initiatives like fencing off waterways and continuing riparian planting. National knows that hammering them with more taxes, regulation and policy uncertainty is not the answer.”

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