18 Nov 2009

Federated Farmers wants emissions scheme ditched

3:00 pm on 18 November 2009

Federated Farmers has called for the full repeal of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

At a meeting of the organisation's council on Wednesday, the organisation's president, Don Nicolson, said the scheme was a shambles.

Prime Minister John Key had told the meeting that by 2030, under the Government's proposed changes to the scheme, the average farm would pay $3,000 a year, compared with $30,000 under the existing scheme.

He also said consumers would turn away from New Zealand products if it didn't take action on its greenhouse gas emissions.

Mr Key said farmers needed to relax and realise that science research would deliver solutions for tackling emissions in the future.

'No other country on Earth' as fixated on emissions trading

But Mr Nicolson described the Government's attempts to amend the ETS as a growing disaster and the subsequent select committee report as a Shakespearean tragedy.

"No other country on Earth is as fixated with emissions trading as we are - it's obsessional," he told delegates.

"New Zealander taxpayers are yet to wake up to the fact that ETS is a three-letter word for tax."

Mr Nicolson, who also called the scheme an accounting nightmare, said that local farmers already had the highest moral ground on food production ethics, and that New Zealand's low carbon footprint for agriculture and its subsidy-free status should be better promoted to the world's markets.

He called on the Government to repeal the existing Act and start afresh.