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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 29

Protective Duty

Protective Duty.

It is a very moderate computation, then, to reckon that New Zealand's farinaceous food has cost the eaters of it nearly 15 per cent, more than it otherwise would, in page 8 order that the local producers and exporters might sell so much more produce abroad, after supplying the local consumption in excess of importation. The local producer is protected in a great measure by that rate of duty, together with the profit on duty of both importer and retailer. If all such food could be imported free, the local producer would have to sell at a lower price by at least 15 per cent., or else to export. In consequence of the duty, average baker's bread costs 8d. to 9d. the 41b loaf, or about the same as in England. Supposing the average crop of wheat to be 30 bushels per acre, and 60Ibs to the bushel, the grower of wheat is protected in the local market to the extent of 13s. 6d. per acre yearly, by the tax on wheat, against the competition of American or Australian growers; and lie is yet further protected to a large extent by the exorbitant tax on rice against the use of that article of food in the place of flour.

Some farmers may grumble if these taxes are abolished; but in spite of that, every eater, who is unable to afford dear food instead of cheap food, will agree with me that All Taxes on Grain and Flour of all Kinds Ought to be Abolished!