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Rural tour a flop - Labour

2000 web sitePrime Minister Jenny Shipley's comment that National MPs who participated in a recent tour of rural electorates 'now have a better grasp of the things rural people are concerned about' will be greeted with a hollow laugh in the heartland, according to Labour rural affairs spokesperson Jim Sutton.

"She should have sent them sooner. They might have helped National avoid such idiocies as the increased costs of driver licences and motor registration, which strike vicious blows on rural people," Mr Sutton said.

"And she should send them out again, and go herself. It might help her avoid National's next round of planned stupidity, like producer board and road reforms.

"Mrs Shipley should also tell her National Party colleagues to be selective about who they talk to when on tour. It might help her avoid spouting such ill-informed rubbish as her claim on Thursday that a typical Canterbury dairy farmer pays $77,000 a year in interest costs.

"That implies a mortgage of ¾ of a million dollars, at least, and probably land worth $4 million.

"It probably is typical of National's few remaining supporters, but it doesn't represent most of the rural community," Mr Sutton said.

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