Feb 22, 2008

National Should Make More Use Of Tim Groser

This exchange in Parliament yesterday shows why - Anderton was thinking himself very clever in arranging a patsy from Leslie Soper. He ended up with egg on his face -

Tim Groser: Given that in 1999 this Minister of Agriculture described National’s tariff and subsidy removal plan as “sheer idiocy”, but yesterday, in claiming erroneously that National wished to go back to tariffs and subsidies, he told the House that tariffs and subsidies were “the economic ruination of this country”, would the Minister like to share with the House the sequence of events that led to this happy, if remarkable, change of world view?

Hon JIM ANDERTON: Madam Speaker—[Interruption]

Madam SPEAKER: Right! Members will hear this answer in silence.

Hon JIM ANDERTON: That seems, in the first instance, to be an acknowledgment that the National Party is going back to a policy of export subsidies, and if that is true, the member will have some questions to answer outside this House pretty quickly from the media, I suspect. Let me remind him that I was on record, and have been on record, as saying that the National Party’s then policy of family benefits for sheep, which is what this policy represents, was a disaster for New Zealand. It was a disaster for New Zealand, and so will any policy of this kind followed by any future National Government.