It is like sitting on the bow of the Titanic while watching it hit an iceberg. We know it is coming but we don't yet know how big the iceberg is.
Let me help you out dear reader.
If one thought the budget was a killer to business and the economy and it clearly is: increased compliance costs, contributions to employees' savings and the two headed monster the inflationary petrol tax-the 3c cut to business tax still puts business behind- then you have got another thing coming.
The biggest thing missing from the 2007 budget was an indication of looming carbon taxes and costs associated with Labour's lunacy over Kyoto and the global warming myth.
It wasn't even given the once over lightly, in fact it wasn't mentioned at all.
In what will be New Zealand business' biggest challenge in generations, global warming taxes, Cullen is playing fast and lose with our kiwi companies simply because they cannot plan with certainty of the future.
These costs loom large in board rooms around the country, only the NZX board room is relaxed because they look likely to benefit from implementing so-called "carbon trading."
The costs to business and the economy cannot be overstated. Businesses, and eventually individuals who emit carbon will be taxed on those emissions. How much we don't know but what we do know is that these taxes will flow down to the consumer and put a bite on the economy with such force that we may never recover.
Like the 2007 budget, the only winners from carbon taxes will be Governments and an army of bureaucrats who will administer the taxes from yet another acre of new Wellington office space.
The two business sectors with the most to lose will be tourism and agriculture, incidentally the 2 biggest earners of foreign exchange for New Zealand Inc. According to those with a green tinge to their blood, including Sir Richard Branson, airline travel is one of the biggest contributors to Global Warming, with the shipping sector and distance traveled by those ships to get goods to market from this part of the world 2 targets for the highest taxes and red tape due to the perception of their "global carbon footprint."
Already New Zealand's agriculture industry has been given a wake-up call over "food miles" and Tesco in Britain discouraging buying of NZ produce because of the distance it has come. Commentators such as Rod Oram are foisted on their own Global Warming crusades, when they on the one hand advocate for GW and carbon taxes(Oram buys carbon credits to off-set his "carbon footprint")but on the other hand moan when the likes of Tesco actually use the argument he advocates against him.
The tourism industry clearly faces a bleak future if these new taxes take a strangle-hold. The further away a destination, the higher the taxes will be on airfares, airlines and a whole host of industry related business. New Zealand is as far away as one can get from the bulk of the worlds population and it doesn't take Einstein to figure out who the biggest loser will be.
We must not confuse the valid issue of polluting our neighbourhood and planet with the Myth of Global Warming. There has been a turning point in the belief of man-made GW from former believers in the scientific world and the focus should now be to get back to reality and impetus on the real issues around us.
GW associated taxes will kill our already shaky economy and the irony is that the worlds biggest and real polluters will be the beneficiary of our Government's stupidity.
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