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Anderton Doesn't Understand Rural NZ


25 JUNE 1999

If the Alliance Party wants to take rural New Zealand back to the era of 6 o'clock closing, Jim Anderton is the right man for the job, said Minister for Food and Fibre, Hon John Luxton today.

"Mr Anderton expects Labour to raise an extra $5 billion by reinstating tariffs and raising taxes to pay for all his off-the-wall election promises. His most ridiculous promise, which has even Cullen lost for words, is the idea of a state-owned bank. I ask you, who would put their money in a bank run by the Alliance? The can't even keep track of their own members."

Mr Luxton said you can bet your gumboots that the Alliance will be pressing Labour to reinstate death duties and stamp duties, a move that would seriously disadvantage the rural sector.

"I was astonished when Mr Anderton opposed the abolition of stamp duty and then attacked Labour in the process and I quote: "I want to ask my Labour parliamentary colleagues in particular, what they would really want to do with $77 million if they had it ... Would they give it away to remove stamp duty for people who speculate in properties and a few hard-working farmers? ...If this was a No.1 priority of Labour... then why is it not on the credit card? Should we put 'Remove stamp duties' on the credit card? It is not there. So why on earth are members supporting this tonight? I am not. The Alliance is not - not on your life."

"Unbelievable and these two parties are meant to be on the same side. The Labour Party must cringe every time their so-called Alliance buddies open their mouths.

"That is the difference between National and the Anderton party. National understands farmers and farmers understand the logic behind the Government's position towards agriculture and free trade. It's all about reducing input costs and improving farmers' incomes."

"National has saved each farmer thousands of dollars since we took office in 1990. Farmers have record-low interest and inflation rates, we have scrapped stamp duties, reduced tariffs, slashed taxes, ensured cheaper accident insurance, and the list goes on. Whether it be the $10,000 saved on a new farm ute or $40 on a new pair of gumboots these moves have all assisted farmers."

"None of Anderton's policies are realistic policies. They have as much chance of seeing the light of day as Phillida Bunkle has of winning Wellington Central. Rural communities know that should the Anderton party ever be part of a Government, none of Mr Anderton's wacky plans for the agricultural sector would ever be introduced by Labour, so why bother going down this self-destructive path?"

"National has always been and will continue to be the only political party which truly represents rural aspirations. Anderton is wasting everyone's time in rural New Zealand. He is his own worst enemy."

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