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ACT Rural Conf. Looks At Improving Farmer Incomes

Friday 2nd Jul 1999
Muriel Newman
Media Release -- Social Welfare

As ACT's Rural Candidates get down to work at the first of two rural conferences this weekend in Taupo, farmers' bottom lines will be the top item on the agenda.

The Party's Rural Spokesman, Owen Jennings said the continuing slide in farmer incomes requires a two pronged attack.

"Rural New Zealanders know that ACT is leading the fight to cut the Government red tape and costs that are sucking rural New Zealand dry.

"Farmers are frustrated that in nine years National has not acted get the red tape and costs down. They know it took ACT's campaigning for National to move in this year's budget to scrap stamp duty. Farmers know ACT is leading the way in making sure they keep more of what they earn.

"The plight of farmers like Derek Sissons who was told by Transit bureaucrats how many times he could go in and out of his farm gate, symbolise for farmers the utter stupidity of the out of control bureaucracy they are forced to contend with. They want politicians who mean what they say and cut out this nonsense. There is a raft of legislation that needs to be addressed and for farmers the RMA and OSH Acts are the top priority.

"ACT party's practical plans for rural New Zealand are winning the close fought race for the important rural vote. We have presented a vision for the industry's future and are working with farmers to see that through.

"ACT's extensive listening tours have given ACT MP's an edge over other parties. We have heard the plight of farming families and the important rural service sector that is under so much pressure and responded with vigorous policy solutions. National is too late with its rural tours. Voters have already made the decision to shift their vote. Labour and the Alliance continue to strike fear in the hearts of rural New Zealand with their politics of envy and agenda to promote the trade unions.

"Rural people are telling me they do not want to vote centre left. They cannot believe that a party that says it wants the farmer's vote is proposing to throw out the Employment Contracts Act. Farmers more than anyone else know the outrageous behaviour of unions with too much power. Killing costs are coming down. Repealing the ECA will send them up again.

"The conference this weekend and next weekend in Timaru is refining ACT's position on reducing costs to small businesses, especially farmers, and working through how incomes can be improved. ACT believes there are barriers to exporters adding value and gaining higher prices for more sophisticated agricultural/horticultural products. It is better incomes that will turn around the flagging fortunes of provincial New Zealand. ACT is not into picking winners but it is into improving the investment and business climate so businesses can choose where to get the best results. That is vital for farmers and exporters in this country," said Owen Jennings.


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