Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Budget Good For Rural People

Budget Good For Rural People

This year's Budget is good for rural communities, Associate Rural Affairs Minister Damien O'Connor said today.

Mr O'Connor told Parliament during the Budget debate that there were several measures in the Budget that directly benefited farmers, growers, and other primary producers. These include $14.2 million over four years for support for World Trade Organisation negotiations and bilateral Closer Economic Partnerships and other trade agreements, and more than $6 million a year in new funding for biosecurity.

The Sustainable Farming Fund, which enhances rural communities' economic, social, and environmental sustainability, also received an extra $10.6 million a year for the next three years.

"I note that Federated Farmers has welcomed the increases in biosecurity and trade negotiations funding. They recognise the importance of these to their members."

Mr O'Connor said the Government had initiatives within areas such as health, welfare, and education specifically targeted for rural communities ? for example, the Heartland Services Centres, and rural retention funding for medical providers.

"So, the increases in social spending outlined in yesterday's Budget benefit rural people significantly too," he said.

Early childhood education gets an 8 per cent increase in funds; the budget puts in $167 million over four years to employ another 774 primary and secondary teachers. It lowers the barriers to tertiary education by introducing a regime to contain fee rises and by increasing the student component of the tertiary funding system next year by 3 per cent when inflation is expected to rise only 1.8 per cent.

The Budget allocates $84.34 million over four years to the Industry Training Fund to increase the number of trainees from 100,000 to 150,000 within the next two years. It puts $56 million behind a commitment to ensure all 15 to 19 year olds are in some form of training or work by 2006. These years are too valuable to be wasted.

Health also is put on a firm financial footing with the allocation of a further $535 million to carry the three-year health funding package into 2005-06. The increases for the first three years, beginning with the current 2002-03 year are: $400 million, $800 million and $1.2 billion.

Mr O'Connor said if the Government was to deliver the quality of services New Zealanders had a right to expect, the sustainable growth rate had to rise. The government has set itself the task of restoring New Zealand to the top half of the OECD in terms of per capita income, and the budget promotes this objective through a series of measures to support the Growth and Innovation Framework.

"These include $140 million over four years for research, science and technology, $110 million to respond to the recommendations of the taskforces into biotechnology, design, screen production and ICT and $73 million to promote overseas trade."

All these things directly affected rural people, Mr O'Connor said.

"More than 80 per cent of primary products grown here are exported. Getting into overseas markets at fair levels is hugely important for our farmers, fishermen, and foresters."

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news