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Budget '05: Biosecurity funding more Labour spin

20 May 2005

Shane Ardern MP National Party Biosecurity Spokesman

Budget '05: Biosecurity funding more Labour spin

National's Biosecurity spokesman, Shane Ardern, says yesterday's Budget announcements for biosecurity are blatant Labour spin and do not even keep pace with inflation.

"The recent Foot and Mouth biosecurity scare highlighted the need for robust biosecurity funding in New Zealand," says Mr Ardern.

"Border security should not be confused with biosecurity, and Labour has deliberately misrepresented the true status of their biosecurity funding in favour of self-congratulatory spin.

"The fact is that we need to be spending more money on pest management strategies, surveillance and stopping incursions at our borders.

"Biosecurity Minister Jim Sutton continues to claim he introduced the $200 instant fine for biosecurity breaches at airports, but this is not true.

"The instant fine was introduced by a National Government and Mr Sutton forgot to apply for the appropriations in his first year as Minister, so the instant fine could not be implemented for a further 12 months.

"Labour's Budget funding for biosecurity, much like the rest of the Budget, is a whole lot of election-year spin and is an insult to New Zealanders," says Mr Ardern.

ENDS

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