God Save New ZealandMonday, Jun 23, 2003
The Government continues to show its disdain for those who earn the nation’s wealth, when twice in the past week Ministers have called New Zealand farmers ‘whingers’, says Federated Farmers Vice President Charlie Pedersen.
“First Hon Jim Sutton attacked farmers for questioning the Government's back room deal to impose a policy that seeks to override the Resource Management Act without consultation with farmers. Then Hon Pete Hodgson repeated the insult when farmers questioned the imposition of a stock tax to fund the Government’s Kyoto commitments.
“Farmers are proud environmental stewards, and they are astute businesses people competing in a highly subsidised internal marketplace. Farmers have every right to question inequitable initiatives that single them out as the only ones who should take responsibility for the environment.
“Every time Auckland whinges this Government jumps.
“Auckland whinges about clogged roads and the Government taxed petrol from Bluff to Cape Reinga to pay for Auckland roads.
“Auckland whinges about loosing the America’s Cup and the Government showed no hesitation in throwing taxpayer millions at the next challenge.
“All New Zealanders must stand up and ask how many more new taxes are they going to be forced to pay to meet the Government's dreams and schemes, such as bailing out TranzRail and Air New Zealand.
“Farmers are closing up their chequebooks. Perhaps the resultant slowdown in the economy will shock the government into realising it cannot continue to erode agriculture's competitiveness.”