Would slaughter stock rather than pay tax

It has taken me a while to post on this one, sorry about that. On September 9, Straight Furrow published an article on Gavin King, a Selwyn sheep and beef farmer who has done the sums and worked out that the ETS passed by Labour (and which will be kept by National) is completely unaffordable – in fact he would rather slaughter his sheep and cattle than pay for it. A few quotes:

Many farms would fall over depending on the final tax rate and it would severely hurt service industries, he said. …

“They have evolved over thousands of years burping and farting and to think we can change that in a short time is stupid. Several hundred years ago there would probably have been more animals than today.” …

King has 8840 sheep stock units and 1595 cattle stock units, so his yearly tax could range from $93,525 to $187,050, he said. …

Meat & Wool estimates that about 82% of sheep and beef farms would be uneconomic if the carbon tax is passed.

This is damning. I have known the Kings for years and would hate to see them go out of business, but this is the situation faced by every farmer in the country, including my own family. Farmers are already struggling and cannot afford another cost, especially one as pointless as this, because even Greenpeace states that the ETS:

“will deliver no significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions”

This legislation is a disaster for farmers. But National, who most farmers have traditionally voted for, will keep it, with a few tweaks. These tweaks may make it slightly more affordable but as a result will make it do even less for the environment, so it will still be completely pointless.

Only The Family Party will repeal this legislation and commit to basing future legislation on science and economics. It is crazy that an Auckland-based party is now the one direction farmers can turn if they wish to stay in business, with National betraying them, but if that is the way NZ politics is going so be it.