Aussies subsidise Kiwi wine. Believe it or not but Australian taxpayers are subsidising Kiwi winemakers to flood us with those rivers of sav blanc, to the tune of up to $25 million a year via what’s called the wine equalisation tax rebate. According to a New Zealand media report this morning, “more than 200 New Zealand wine companies have been claiming rebates of up to A$500,000 each (NZ$815,620), equating to about A$23 million in 2013 and up to A$25m a year in previous years”. But the scheme is up for grabs in the Abbott government’s tax review, and there’s suggestions Australian wine companies want the Kiwis punted. Kiwi winemakers managed to get their hands on the loot via the Closer Economic Relations agreement between Australia and NZ, which extended the deal across the Tasman. Now smaller Kiwi winemakers are moaning that they will be hurt if they lose their access to the Australian rebate because they would become less competitive (by losing their Australian subsidy). -- Glenn Dyer