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It stinks whatever way you look at it

Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton slipped up answering questions about his flatulence tax in Parliament today, saying that Labour had negotiated with the forestry sector over carbon credits.

"Jim Sutton took exception to the suggestion that Labour has nationalised $1 billion of carbon credits, claiming that it negotiated with the Forestry sector. That claim is completely unfounded - negotiation requires compromise, and give and take on both sides but there's been none of this with the flatulence tax.

"As far as I can see, the Government's taken $1.1 billion worth of carbon credits and given the farmers an $8.4 million dollar flatulence tax in return.

"This Government has also given the forestry sector increased compliance costs, unworkable OSH laws, and with unreliable and expensive electricity supplies. It also gave away segments of the Kaingaroa forest without negotiating road access arrangements for Forestry companies, placing a $1.2 billion industry at risk.

"Adding insult to injury, Mr Sutton suggests that farming organisations should get private investors to pay for Greenhouse gas research. He's not explaining why the farming sector should do his job for him.

"Today he's reminded farmers they have a week to make submissions on funding and collecting the flatulence tax. The Government's deliberately kept the time-frame short because they know the more it is examined, the more people will realise it stinks worse than any farmyard emission.

"Mr Sutton can deny it all he likes, but any time you have a Government take assets from private industry and claim them for themselves - that is nationalisation," Mr Connell said.

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