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Farmers pay heavy price for Govt decisions

Farmers pay heavy price for Govt decisions

The backbone of New Zealand's economy is showing signs of strain as the Government continues to pile on the pressure, according to the National Party Agriculture spokesman David Carter.

"This Government has forgotten that the agricultural sector is the number one contributor to our economy.

"Today's confidence survey reflects deep concerns within the sector as commodity prices soften and our exchange rate rises," Mr Carter says.

"The National Bank survey says 'firms have become significantly less optimistic about export prospects'.

"And that's backed up by figures released just yesterday which show New Zealand's export income has been on a downward spiral for the past 11 months.

"That means our export earnings for the year are down more than $2 billion compared with the previous year," says Mr Carter.

"Add to this picture the drought that's affecting many parts of the country, rising electricity prices, slack biosecurity, along with a raft of extra compliance costs and our key agriculture sector's on shaky ground.

"This is a Government that's always treated the agricultural sector as a poor cousin," he says.

"Labour has been walking all over property rights with proposals around private land access and it has lumbered us with more costs through the RMA and Local Government legislation.

"It's time the Labour-led Government smoothed the playing field so our important agriculture sector is not further disadvantaged in an uncertain international climate," Mr Carter says.

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