12 November 2019

Tue, 12 Nov, 2019

LAST STRAW FOR FARMERS

This week’s Ad Lib has a rural theme as I’m off up to Dargaville on Thursday to speak at a Uniting Rural New Zealand rally. This will be a tractor and farm vehicle rally being organised by Northland farmers, at the Dargaville racecourse. They want to bring awareness to new government policies that are being put through with no thought of the financial or emotional cost to small businesses and the agricultural community.

The Zero Carbon Bill is the last straw for the rural community, and they feel abandoned by National. How a party that has a number of farming MPs in its ranks could approve a bill that could have a $300 billion cost to the economy according to the NZ Initiative, and where that cost will most sorely be felt by the farming community, is bizarre. For every reason I’ve heard National MPs defending their support of the bill at this third reading, they’ve demonstrated exactly why they should have opposed it.

Emissions must be reduced domestically “as far as possible,” says the Bill, regardless of how many more tonnes of greenhouse gases could be avoided offshore. Such parochialism has consequences: $300 billion potentially added to the cost of reducing emissions to net zero; 

It’s hard to draw any other conclusion other than that they are running scared of popular opinion on climate change, and want to be seen to be doing something.

As if farmers weren’t already feeling bad enough, this is a real kick-in-the-guts.

"Big, chunky" environment issues and government policies such as the zero carbon bill are rattling farmers. They're worried about how they'll meet proposed regulations…

RE-ACTION

I was in the ACT Office last Thursday as the news broke that the parliament had almost unanimously supported the Zero Carbon Bill, but that it had not been supported by David Seymour/ACT. Within minutes the phone started ringing and new memberships started flowing in. It is clear that National has misread its traditional supporters completely on this one.

Once again we have rushed legislation, without proper consultation with the sector it will most effect, all in the name of showmanship and grandstanding in the international arena. And worst of all, it won’t make any difference to the real environmental problems we have here at home.

Listen to this reaction on Magic Talk – Ryan Bridge’s Show – last Friday.

FROM ZERO TO HERO

On the Zero Carbon Bill, free speech and firearms, ACT alone has been the real opposition to Labour. We are taking principled stands on the tough issues and have consistently pushed for lower taxes and less bureaucratic environmental, employment, and health and safety laws. We’ll oppose Labour’s unworkable freshwater proposals until proper consultation and economic analysis is done, support practical environmental management and sensible regulation based on sound science and economics. As well, we’ll replace the RMA and introduce a flat tax of 17.5% on all income, and prevent politicians from creating new red tape unless basic rights are protected and benefits outweigh costs.

 

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