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Govt In Full Retreat Over Fart Tax

Govt In Full Retreat Over Fart Tax

ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff today predicted that it would not be long before the Labour Government backed-down over the proposed Flatulence Tax, in light of Climate Change Convenor Pete Hodgson's behaviour in Parliament today.

"In the House today, Mr Hodgson appeared to be back-peddling on plans to tax farmers nine cents a year for each mature sheep, and 54 cents a year for each mature cow or dairy animal," Mr Eckhoff said.

"He also said that Labour would consider scrapping this ridiculous tax if farmers invest more of their own money into research on reducing methane emissions - I have news for the Minister: they already do.

"Farmers pay around $77 million towards research and other public good initiatives. They have paid a further $800,000 on climate change research, and another $20 million has been injected into sustainable farming research projects.

"The Minister then refused to confirm or deny that his Government had indicated to officials that it wanted a solution to the Flatulence Tax debacle - or indeed, to reconsider it. Instead, he launched a nauseating diatribe, and said farmers should be grateful to be exempt from emission charges on agricultural Greenhouse gasses that would cost them around $1 billion. According to this arrogant Minister, farmers should be grateful for small mercies.

"Labour has badly underestimated the depth of anger that exists over this discriminatory tax - its focus group polling has let it down. Rural New Zealand must keep fighting this ludicrous tax. The Government is in full retreat, and I anticipate a complete U-turn very soon.

"I demand that the Minister seek the advice of Transport Minister Paul Swain - who will tell him you can't put the car in reverse while it's still moving forward," Mr Eckhoff said.

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