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Government must listen to farmers

David Carter National Agriculture Spokesman

1 July 2003

Government must listen to farmers

The Government cannot afford to ignore growing farmer anger about the controversial 'flatulence' tax, says National's Agriculture spokesman, David Carter.

"A meeting organised by MAF in Hamilton today almost ended in a walkout after just 15 minutes because of farmer opposition to the Government's so-called a 'research levy' on greenhouse gas emissions.

"The refusal by farmers to accept this proposed tax is an obvious sign that farmers know a sly tax when it's dumped on them," says Mr Carter.

"The fact that the meeting passed an unanimous remit calling for the Government to fund all emissions reduction research as a public good as a way of meeting its obligation under the Kyoto Protocol shows how high feelings are running.

"Similar meetings are planned in other parts of the country this week, and I find it contemptible that Ministry officials are delivering this propaganda while the Agriculture Minister jumps on his trade bandwagon and heads overseas.

"If he wants consultation with farmers, why isn't he talking to them this week?

"National warned the Government that farmers would end up paying for its rushed decision to ratify Kyoto, but Jim Sutton tried to fool them this wouldn't happen.

"If the anger of today's meeting is anything to go by, farmers won't forget this betrayal easily," says Mr Carter.


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