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Farmers Win First Skirmish

Farmers Win First Skirmish

ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff said today that last night's meeting, in Hastings, of Hawke's Bay farmers showed the anger felt by rural communities regarding the Labour Government's Flatulence Tax.

"Last night, farmers won the battle at Hastings hands down. Rural Affairs Minister Jim Sutton and Climate Change Minister Pete Hodgson failed to make any impression on the 300 farmers in attendance - all of whom voted to reject the Government's imposition of the methane emissions tax," Mr Eckhoff said.

"Mr Hodgson sought to justify the theft of farmers carbon credits by stating that the Government was prepared to accept all the debits, therefore they were entitled to nationalise all the credits. It was a view firmly rejected of those in attendance - especially farm foresters, who believe carbon credits are a property right that should not be stolen by the Government.

"It was made very clear that the Government's revenue take would increase by $200 million as a result of nationalising carbon credits from the farming community.

"The quote of the evening came from Mr Hodgson in response to a question from the audience regarding the Kyoto Protocol. He said: `I am making this up as I go along'. Understandably, the Minister's admission was greeted by howls of derision from the audience.

"The Minister appeared to accept that Labour's decision to ratify the Protocol was based on totally inadequate science. That decision will impact very heavily on New Zealand's ability to compete in overseas markets, due to increased compliance costs as a result of the ratification," Mr Eckhoff said.

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