Farmers to be ATMs for the ‘useless’

I have often observed that people of the left wing persuasion think everyone lives (or should live) in cities. That is one of the reasons that left wingers denigrate farmers; not because they don’t eat their produce (obviously they do) but they don’t make the connection between what they eat and how it is produced. I used to joke that city dwellers think chickens are born in polystyrene containers, wrapped in cling film. Maybe that is overstating it, but most left wing politicians are very hard on farmers, apparently not realising that, without them, our country would be in dire straits indeed.

Now Federated Farmers Marlborough president Phillip Neal has said that he believes that the proposed tax reforms will turn farmers into ATM machines for the ‘useless’. By this, I think he might be referring to Shane Jones’s ‘nephs’. quote.

A regional farming representative has ruffled feathers by saying the Government will use tax reforms to pay for “useless” beneficiaries, using farmers like ATMs.

Federated Farmers Marlborough president Phillip Neal made the comment in a Friday Flash newsletter to members, saying new taxes proposed last month were unfairly targeting farmers’ hard-earned money.

“[The report] not only recommends a capital gains tax but also an emissions tax, water tax, fertiliser tax, nitrogen tax and an environment footprint tax,” Neal said in the newsletter on March 15. end quote.

All the focus has been on capital gains tax, but there is a raft of other proposed taxes in the report as well, many of which will be detrimental to farmers in most regions. quote.

“Farmers are in danger of becoming an ATM industry, providing the Government with farmers’ hard-earned money so the Government can then redistribute money to those they perceive as the helpless and needy, but in my opinion, useless.”

Neal added that he knew the comment was “harsh”, but it was “indicative of how I feel at the moment”.  end quote.

The government needs to listen to this. The Tasman electorate, close to where Phillip Neal is located, is currently represented by Labour’s Damien O’Connor. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that he could lose his seat over this. quote.

“I think there are members of the Government that are anti-farming and would like to see farming be put down altogether. We just seem to be getting hit by all these different taxes and it seems to all be aimed at farmers,” Neal said. end quote.

There is no doubt about that, particularly in the Green party. Socialists don’t particularly like farmers, and hard left socialists dislike them intensely. quote.

People were more focused on farmers than anything else when it came to environmental protection, even more so than vehicle emissions, he said.

“There is work to be done to clean up dairying but a lot of dairy farmers have spent hundreds of thousands trying to do that.” end quote.

Yes. The constant denigration of farmers never takes into account the good work they do to protect their land and the environment. Bill English once said, during his brief stint as prime minister, that farmers had fenced ‘between here and Texas’ over the previous 3 years, a very considerable amount of fencing, but they never get any credit for it. If one cow accidentally sets foot in a river, the entire dairy industry is decried for weeks. quote.

“I’m talking about those people that don’t want to be useful members of society. They’re quite happy to sponge off the Government and we shouldn’t be paying for them. We do need benefits, but there’s lots of people who abuse the system,” Neal said.

“This Government seems to be happy to take the money away from those people earning a living and giving it to the downtrodden, who often don’t want to work.

“We’ve had a gutsful of it.” 

Stuff end quote.


I want to live in a fair society, where those who cannot help themselves are looked after, but Phillip Neal is not talking about them. He is talking about people who make living on a benefit a lifestyle choice. This government is making it easier for those who make those lifestyle choices, and it is wrong.

We really should support our farmers more than we do. They are, as they say, the backbone of our society. And if there are any people of the left-wing persuasion reading this article… chickens are not really born in polystyrene containers, you know.

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