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Government neglects needs of rural sector

Shane Ardern Opposition Rural Affairs Spokesman

16 June 2000

Government neglects needs of rural sector

"The cut in funding for Agriculture and Forestry is a vicious slap in the face for the rural sector," says National's Taranaki-King Country MP Shane Ardern.

"The appropriations tables released with yesterday's Budget show that overall funding for Agriculture and Forestry in the next year has been slashed by 34 million dollars compared to last year," Mr Ardern says.

"Everyone recognises exports are the way to lead New Zealand's recovery. So what does Labour do? It cuts funding for two of our largest export earning sectors.

"It's proof positive that this Government doesn't understand farmers, or anyone who lives and works in the rural sector.

"The Government is pandering to some sectors of society like the Opera crowd, but is ignoring the people who live and work in the country's heartland.

"To add insult to injury Jim Sutton announced yesterday that the Government would spend '10 million dollars a year for three years for a sustainable development programme fund'.'

"But the appropriations tables show that in fact the Government has only made half that amount of money available for the 2000/2001 year.

"Mr Sutton and his colleagues should learn that rural people don't like being ignored, and we don't like being misled," Mr Ardern says.


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