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Farmers Challenge Bad Policy

15 July 2003

Farmers Challenge Bad Policy

This Government is failing to recognise the wealth that farmers create for all New Zealanders.

In an address to the Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) 58th Annual Conference President Tom Lambie criticised attacks on farmers by Ministers depicting them as whingers.

"Farmers are astute businesses people who are competing in a highly subsidised international marketplace. Daily, farmers face the challenge of managing a complex biological system both productively and sustainably.

"Farmers just want stable and even handed government policy, we want investment in infrastructure from which all can benefit, we want the ability to remain competitive, and a business environment that encourages diversity and innovation.

"Farmers do not need new taxes and new compliance costs that undermine productivity.

"Farmers have every right to stand up and ask how many more new taxes they are going to be forced to pay.

"Farmers are exercising their right to question polices which erode the nation's wealth and the international competitiveness of the productive sector.

"Farmers have every right to ask how many more unrealistic taxes they are going to be forced to pay.

"Farmers have every right to question simplistic approaches to environmental sustainability.

"Farmers have every right to question inequitable initiatives that require them to carry the full costs of protecting, heritage, indigenous biodiversity and landscape, which the general public wants but refuses to pay for.

"Farmers have every right to question the land access review, which proposes to erode their private property rights and threatens their security.

Farmers are not asking for a handout to buy a black boat. We do not want our fellow tax payers to subsidise our novel and artistic ventures.

"It is nearly twenty years since New Zealand farmers broke free from the shackles of subsidies. The rest of the world acknowledges this, it's time that New Zealand did."


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