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Government destroying rural economy

Shane Ardern National Rural Affairs Spokesperson

20 February 2001

Government destroying rural economy

Government policies, driven by a party of university lecturers and unionists are ignoring the rural community, National Rural Affairs spokesperson Shane Ardern said in the House today.

"Only one member of Cabinet has a rural background, that means only one voice represents the community that earns much of the money which funds our health, education and welfare system. That just isn't fair.

"We have already suffered higher ACC costs, more tax payments and an Employment Relations Act which has had disastrous results for the rural people. How much more do they have to take from this Government?

"The vets' strike is costing New Zealand $100 million a week. That is a huge cost to health, education, and other important social areas. No business can carry this cost. The Minister has the power to resolve this issue now.

"Where is the Good Faith Bargaining? Where is the protection that this Government promised that animals and the economy would not suffer under the new Employment Relations Act?"

Mr Ardern demanded that the Minister of Agriculture take immediate action for the sake of farmers, meat workers, and the whole New Zealand economy.

"The Government is more concerned with pandering to the whims of Jim Anderton's People's Bank, despite a prolific number of official reports advising against this bank.

"The Prime Minister has stated that she will not be using the People's Bank, yet the Government will happily spend $80 million of taxpayers money to try and appease Mr Anderton's ego.

"The Government will discover the hard way that provincial communities will not support an administration which continues to ignore their interests," Mr Ardern said.

ENDs

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