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Labour Should Beg For Farmers' Forgiveness

Labour Should Beg For Farmers' Forgiveness

Thursday 4 Sep 2003 Gerry Eckhoff Press Releases -- Rural -- ACT Rural Website

ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff today expressed delight at the public response to Federated Farmers' march on Parliament - but said he was not surprised by the turnout.

"Anyone with a shred of sense can see the absurdity of a `Fart Tax', so it was no surprise that so many turned out - from Taranaki, Manawatu, Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa, and as far afield as Greymouth and Fox glacier - to protest this attack on farmers," Mr Eckhoff said.

"I was also pleased to see so many Wellingtonians' show up in support of rural New Zealand. Clearly, anger over this ridiculousness is not isolated to farmers - a fact supported by a Herald poll showing 80 percent of those surveyed opposed the `Flatulence Tax'. A One News-Colmar Brunton also found 84 percent opposed taxing farmers for methane emissions.

"I have spent the past three weeks on the road - from the top of the North to the bottom of the South - listening to the concerns of rural New Zealand. Farmers have had enough of this arrogant Government and its anti-farmer policies.

"While all this evidence is damning enough for the Government, I was today delighted to receive a petition, from Federated Farmers President Tom Lambie, signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders calling on Labour to scrap the `Flatulence Tax'.

"Climate Control Convenor Pete Hodgson has indicated that Labour will soon reverse its `Flatulence Tax' proposal - largely due to ACT's unrelenting pressure. From day one, we have battled this absurd tax, highlighting its unfairness. We will continue to do so.

"ACT is proud to fight for rural New Zealand, a task we do not take lightly. Again, I demand that Mr Hodgson and Rural Affairs Minister Jim Sutton front up to farmers. Labour should beg farmers' forgiveness for creating this mess. Scrapping the `Flatulence Tax' would be a good start," Mr Eckhoff said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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