If there are any farmers misguided enough to be considering supporting Labour, the announcement of their agriculture policy should persuade them to give their vote to another party which understands farming.
Phil Goff is channelling Winston Peters with the plan to allow the Reserve Bank to play with our currency.
“Labour will amend the Reserve Bank of NZ Act 1989 to broaden the Bank’s primary function so that it includes stability of the currency to give farmers and exporters greater certainty,” Phil Goff said.
Stability? He’s been in parliament long enough to remember just how unstable the currency and economy were when it was managed in the past.
Federated Farmers president Bruce Wills says:
. . . while fluctuations in the exchange rate are problematic for exporters, he is not comfortable with any moves to interfere with a market-based mechanism, especially with little detail on what is actually being proposed.
Quite. A floating currency isn’t perfect but it’s better than any alternatives.
Wills gives Labour a couple of bouquets but mostly brickbats for its labour and agricultural policies:
“Labour plans to intervene in industry structures, further confuse the tax system, meddle with the Reserve Bank Act and create uncertainty around overseas investment in farm land,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers National President.
“To cap it off Labour is proposing a draconian Emissions Trading Scheme policy which puts New Zealand farmers at a severe disadvantage to international competitors by including animal emissions from 2013.
“If Labour wants New Zealand Agriculture to help pay this country’s bills then this policy does not help.
“The ruminant stomach has been around for centuries and science is yet to come up with workable options to make it carbon neutral, so I just don’t see the sense in taxing animal owners for something they can’t control.
“Adding uncertainty to overseas investment is not a sensible policy for encouraging investment in agriculture. Instead it will lower the price for New Zealand sellers and make it cheaper for foreign investors. This is not the most beneficial outcome for New Zealand.
“There is no mention of important issues, like biosecurity or rural roading in Labour’s policy. . .
Labour’s policies aren’t about what’s good for the country or the countryside. They’re admissions the party has given up on this election and is just aiming at its core constituency.