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Rates Revolt Must Not Be Idle Threat

Friday 18 Oct 2002 Gerry Eckhoff Press Releases -- Rural

The threatened rates revolt by farmers must not be an idle threat, ACT Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff said today.

"Landowners must stand united or they will fail.

"The Government constantly states they are business friendly and are concerned at compliance costs and then deliver a crushing blow in the form of the Local Government Amendment bill.

"The Select Committee hearing process in this particular case was a farce - some Government member read the newspaper while Federated Farmers, Forest Owners' Association and the Business Round Table submitted. Clearly the Government had no intention of ever listening to rural landowners' concerns. The cash cow that rural New Zealand has become will continue to be milked for all it is worth, unless concerted action is taken. A couple of good years down on the farm have encouraged an even greater tax take from the production sector by Central and Local Government.

"Local bodies, with their increased power, will ensure that a redistribution of wealth occurs via the Local Government Amendment bill. If farmers and landowners thought the RMA was bad enough, this new bill will guarantee landowners receive more taxation with even less representation," Mr Eckhoff said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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