15 Jul 2009

Chatham Island farmers get tax relief

4:34 pm on 15 July 2009

Tax relief and income assistance have been secured for farmers on the Chatham Islands who have had to deal with drought and an unreliable shipping service.

Federated Farmers worked with the Inland Revenue Department on behalf of the 50 or so farmers in the Chathams.

Spokesperson Mark Ross says the package will allow some farmers late deposits and early withdrawals from a scheme to even out year-to-year fluctuations in income.

IRD says the measures, which will only be extended to farmers affected by drought and lack of shipping services, have been granted sparingly since 2004.

Federated Farmers says the package will assist the viability of farming in the Chatham Islands and puts farmers there on the same footing as those in the North Island and South Island hit by drought.

Farmers on the Chatham Islands have welcomed the tax relief, but say it does not solve their long-running transport and logistical issues.