New Zealand farmers and traders angry with taxes
Farmers and traders have taken to New Zealand’s streets in recent weeks to protest a raft of government policies dubbed “the ute tax”.
The ‘Howl of Protest’ event, organized by Groundswell New Zealand, has led to thousands of farm vehicles cruising through cities in protest against what farmers say is increasing government interference, impractical regulations and unjustified costs.
Protests erupted in 55 cities from Kaitaia to Southland.
Why are farmers in New Zealand angry?
The New Zealand government first announced a plan to introduce the clean car standard and the clean car discount in 2019.
Warning of rising greenhouse gas emissions, the government has approved the introduction of a carbon dioxide emissions standard for imported new and used light vehicles.
This means increased duties on petrol and diesel vehicles widely used by farmers and dealers.
With the introduction of new Co2 vehicle rules, Australia and Russia will be left as the only two OECD countries without a regulated standard.
Demonstrators are calling on the government to repeal new waterway management regulations, and to relax some border controls, to allow more foreign workers to enter the country.
“The farmers have done a lot of work, and driving on the highway with this block really represents the gravity of how farmers feel about these impractical, unreasonable, undemocratic regulations they just imposed on us,” said Scotty Bright, one of the organizers of an event in Oakland.
“It’s impractical, it’s really hurting farmers and potentially killing agriculture as we know it.”
“Farmers need utes”
A farmer posted a photo of large-scale flooding in the Upper South Island and Lower North Island to illustrate the cause utes . was needed.
The photo showed a ute dragging a small red car with water up the windows from the flood in Lower Hut.
“Is this a legitimate use of Ott?” Comment on the question.
“By the time the rescue took place, water was reaching the door windows. Driver and passenger are safe and uninjured. (Prime Minister) Jacinda Ardern, we still need utes even in the suburbs.”
Ms Ardern revealed last month that the government is considering exempting utes from financial penalties in the scheme. However, that was eventually ruled out.
“We’ve given them a really strong interest and we’re very honest about that because we know there’s no alternative on the market right now,” Ardern told reporters.
“We discussed it because we realized there is a lag in the technology at the moment. But after discussing and discussing and working through it, it will be very difficult to operationalize it.
“A large number of buyers of these vehicles do not use them for legitimate use such as those in the primary sector and crafts.”
In Australia, Labor is planning to cut import tariffs and an additional benefit tax on non-luxury electric cars if they win the next federal election.
The European Union this week proposed a virtual ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2035, with the aim of accelerating the transition to zero-emissions electric vehicles.
– with the New Zealand Herald