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Labour Kicks Farmers - Again

Labour Kicks Farmers - Again

ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff today criticised the Labour Government's exclusion of the farming sector from research grants being allocated to New Zealand industry through the use of carbon credits.

"It appears the Government is using farmers' carbon credits to assist and subsidise all other industries, but farmers' must fund Government-imposed livestock methane emissions research from their own back pocket - even after providing the carbon credits in the first place.

"The Government has a way out of the current stand-off with rural New Zealand. All it has to do is allocate $8.4 million of an estimated $40 million worth of carbon credits intended for the gas emissions research market.

"This is just another stab in the eye for rural New Zealand. Through the nationalisation of farmers' carbon credits, the Government will probably benefit to the tune of $300-$500 million. It is now allocating around $40 million of these credits to research projects, into reducing green house gas emissions," Mr Eckhoff said.

"The question I would like to ask Ministers' Hodgson and Sutton is why $8.4 million worth of these credits cannot be allocated to research into the ruminant action of animals. This would still leave plenty of credits to go around.

"Farmers are paying twice. Firstly, they had their private property rights ignored when the Government stole their carbon credits. Then, Labour had the cheek to demand that farmers fork out for research into reducing methane emissions through the unpopular `Flatulence Tax' proposal.

"This is simply beyond the pale. The primary industry sector represents the backbone of the New Zealand economy - farmers deserve much better treatment than that meted out by this Government," Mr Eckhoff said.

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