New Zealanders will soon have to make do with less meat, and more of it, in the wake of a major overhaul of its subsidy scheme.
The new system will see the amount of tax you pay from each purchase reduced by 20%, and some of the biggest companies and retailers will be forced to make a major reduction in the amount they buy.
The biggest beneficiary will be the big beef, pork and poultry farmers who can now expect to save an average of $2,000 a year, while some other large retailers will see a savings of $1,500.
But for those who are still struggling to find work, the new system is likely to be a blow to their already struggling finances.
The Government said it would make a “significant” investment in new research and advice, and also a “substantial” shift in the way New Zealand spends money.
But critics have questioned the cost and effectiveness of the scheme, saying it is still too complex, and that some businesses might struggle to find enough employees.
There are two main areas where the State Farm scheme is likely not to change for many New Zealand households: meat and poultry.
The scheme is a tax-free benefit, and means a lot of meat and chicken farmers pay a small percentage of their profits to the Government.
That means the Government has no direct control over how much money is used to pay for the purchase of meat or poultry, and how much is spent on marketing and advertising.
The State Farm system is set to be rolled out across the country from July 1, 2019, but some farmers have said the scheme is too complicated and that they will be reluctant to accept it.
New Zealand First’s environment spokeswoman, Ros Broughton, said the Government should make the system simpler.
“New Zealanders deserve better than to be stuck paying 20% of their gross income to the taxpayer every year for 20 years, while they have to spend the next 20 years looking for work.”
A new State Farm website will give people more information about how the system works, and will also provide better information about what types of products and companies can get the refund.
Ms Broughtor said it was important that people had the information they need, and if they had been left in the dark about the changes to their refund, it was “very disappointing”.
“If people are struggling to get a job or have been told they can’t get a visa, then it’s just not fair,” she said.
Mr Daley said it wasn’t the Government’s job to make money for the taxpayers, but it did have a responsibility to give them what they wanted, as a way of showing their gratitude.
“I think they have a duty to do everything they can to make the Government a little bit better off, but I also think the Government needs to make sure they have enough money to help them to make those decisions,” he said.