Jamie Mackay in praising Maori Television makes an interesting observation:
It is also to be congratulated for being brave enough to go where the major networks feared to tread by running a telethon for the Canterbury Earthquake, raising $2.5 million in the process. Of that, Fonterra contributed $1 million, or roughly $90 per dairy farmer. The remainder of New Zealand contributed $1.5 million, or roughly 35 cents per man, woman and child. And the Dom Post says dairy farmers are not paying their fair share?
Fonterra also gave another $500,000 towards production costs so all money raised went to earthquake recovery. And who knows how much of the other $1.5 raised came from dairy farmers?
Labour’s line on dairy farmers not paying tax was classic wedge politics based on a selective use of numbers. As Jamie says:
It’s now abundantly clear the dodgy Dom Post beat-up was a softening-up process ahead of Labour’s attack on farming at its annual conference. The politics of envy is alive and kicking (farmers in the groin). It’s a shame some in the Beehive don’t take a moment to reflect on agriculture’s contribution to society and the economy, rather than being hell-bent on making it a divisive election issue, pitting town against country. Rich farmers are not the problem. Rich farmers are the solution.
Dairy farmers do pay a fair share of tax – most of us would say we pay more than enough. At the moment we’re also doing more than our fair share for the economy and like most other New Zealanders, businesses and individuals, also contribute to worthy causes.