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Rural sector written out of 'no growth' Budget

Rural sector written out of 'no growth' Budget

The Labour Government has again shown its true colours, proving it is no friend of the farming sector, according to National Party Rural Affairs spokesman Shane Ardern.

"Despite increasing costs, a decline in farm payouts, disappearing medical cover and an Auckland road tax, the rural community's been left out in the cold by Labour's 'no growth' Budget.

"It should now be obvious to the rural sector that this Government has no intention of assisting the one group which provides them with the money to produce a surplus in the first place," says Mr Ardern.

"Our medical services continue to decline, with thousands being taken off waiting lists and referred back to their increasingly busy doctor.

"Our rural schools are being closed as the Minister of Education continues his 'witch-hunt' to shut down small schools in a misguided attempt to save money.

"Meanwhile, those schools lucky enough to stay open have had funding and school bus service cuts - but it's quite clear that this Government doesn't care," says Mr Ardern.

"Nothing for us, but millions for the America's Cup and $75.9m for the Arts - where are Labour's priorities?

"This Budget has obviously been written by Wellington bureaucrats who have no understanding of rural life.

"They've shown a lack of judgement when it comes to where money should be spent and failed to identify who is helping to drive the economy," says Mr Ardern.

"Part of the surplus should have been spent on the urgent needs facing our communities, not on touchy, 'feel good' programmes that will do nothing to improve New Zealand's economy.

"Stop turning a blind eye and put the money into the rural sector before it is too late!" Mr Ardern says.

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