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3 News on taxpayer subsidy for rural genetics

$15M genetics funding bad economics – union 3 News - 01/02/2014

A $15 million government investment to improve the genetics of New Zealand lamb and beef is bad economics, the Taxpayers' Union says.

The Government this week announced it the investment, over five years, as part of a new partnership with Beef + Lamb New Zealand Genetics.

The Government's $15M contribution will make up part of the $8.8M spent annually on researching genetic improvement in cattle and sheep.

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce said the Government is committed to investing in research that benefits New Zealand.

"Investing in genetics will help improve meat quality, contribute directly to improving on-farm profitability, and ensure we're meeting the needs of consumers," Mr Joyce said.

But the Taxpayers' Union says the only winners from the funding, will be lamb and sheep farmers.

"What other industries have their normal research and development costs borne by the taxpayer?" Jordan Williams said.

New Zealand is the world leader in pastoral animal and plant genetics, Mr Joyce said.

Taxpayers' Union
Taxpayers' Union