“This morning the Prime Minister confirmed that no new fertiliser tax would be introduced, days after ACT flushed Damien O’Connor out in Parliament.

“This is excellent news for farmers and consumers.

“On 31 May in Parliament, ACT put Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor on the spot and forced him to reveal the work he’d been doing on a new tax on farmers.

“O’Connor confirmed he’d been working on a new tax on nitrogenous fertiliser and that farmers had told him they didn’t want it.

“When asked whether he’d be taking it to Cabinet, he said ‘probably not’.

There have been numerous reports that the Government was considering the new tax as an alternative to He Waka Eke Noa.

“Weeks after Kiwis faced record food price inflation of 12.5 per cent is not the time to be proposing a tax on fertiliser.

“Rural New Zealand is already under enormous stress and food prices have been rising at a record rate. A $150 a tonne tax on urea would only add to farmers woes and to the cost of living for New Zealanders.

“Any such tax would be a blunt instrument because it will punish farmers for the inputs they use rather than the outcomes they achieve. They will pay the tax no matter what they do to mitigate the effects of the fertiliser they use.

“ACT would remove agricultural emissions from the threat of entering the ETS and ensure our emissions price is tied to the prices paid by our top five trading partners with the caveat that if farmers in countries who are our biggest trading partners are not paying a price for their methane emissions, neither should New Zealand farmers.

“ACT was the only party to vote against the Zero Carbon Act and to oppose He Waka Eke Noa from the start.

“We are proud to be the voice for rural New Zealand.”

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