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Government Will Soon Face Test In Rural NZ

30 August 2002

Government Will Soon Face Test In Rural NZ

It is astonishing that within days of the Prime Minister ignoring agriculture in the Speech from the Throne, the National Bank's latest business survey shows the gloomiest farming outlook for twelve years, says National's Agriculture spokesman, David Carter.

"The agriculture sector is seeing through the Government's rhetoric of sustainable growth rates. Farmers know the Government is not - and won't do - anything to help them as lower commodity prices and foreign exchange rates come under pressure.

"Proof of this is in the renationalisation of ACC laws and the inevitable ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.

"This Government's been content to ride on the back of strong agriculture profits in its last term. It is now turning its back on farmers as the going gets tough.

"A depressed agriculture sector will severely dampen the New Zealand economy, starting with the provincial centres.

"The Government will soon face its first economic test in heartland New Zealand... and it will be found wanting," says David Carter.

Ends

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