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Tariff U-Turn Angers Farmers

Tariff U-Turn Angers Farmers

10 April 2000 PR27/2000


Today's Cabinet decision to halt the process of ongoing tariff reductions has angered farmers.

Federated Farmers Vice-President Tom Lambie has described the move as yet another blow against the competitiveness of New Zealand's export sector, and a blow against consumers who could have expected annual household savings of $1000 per year from the complete removal of tariffs.

"Although tariffs on many items have been abolished over recent years, New Zealand's average tariffs are still higher than many other developed countries."

"Tariffs are a tax on both businesses that need imported materials, and consumers who buy the finished products."

"In effect, the Government is telling New Zealand's existing businesses that they are going to be taxed at higher levels than was previously planned in order to fund industry development and employment elsewhere."

"The federation expects the Government to refer the repeal Bill to a Select Committee. Farmers will be doing everything possible to make that committee aware of the drawbacks of this action."

"Federated Farmers really is left wondering why the Government is bothering with the charade of having a Minister For Economic Development, when their actions are so unfriendly towards the existing businesses that are vital to future growth," concluded Mr Lambie.

ENDS For further information: Tom Lambie 026-113-161 Mark Goodchild 04-499-6558 (hm) Catherine Petrey 04-473-7269 (wk)

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