24 Nov 2017

Farmers want say in government's tax review

7:03 pm on 24 November 2017

Farmers want to have a say in the government's new tax working group.

Federated Farmers vice president Andrew Hoggard

Federated Farmers vice president Andrew Hoggard. Photo: Radio NZ / Jemma Brackebush

Former Labour finance minister Sir Michael Cullen is to chair the group from February next year, and Federated Farmers is calling for someone with an agri-sector background to join him.

Federated Farmers vice president Andrew Hoggard said the tax working group needed someone who understood the industry if and when issues such as capital gains, environmental, and land taxes were raised.

It was crucial farmers got a voice, he said.

"Agriculture is a huge part of our economy, so it needs to be represented there. One of those people needs to be fully understanding of the agricultural sector and the tax implications and how things work."

Things could potentially turn into a "nightmare" otherwise, he said.

"If there's no-one with any agricultural knowledge or understanding of the sector, and people start dreaming up 'we could do this tax or that tax', without actually understanding what's going to happen when the rubber hits the road, we could end up with some very perverse outcomes and quite frankly things that just won't work," he said.

Suggestions such as a land tax were scary and having an agri-sector representative on the group would reassure farmers, he said.

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