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Farmer confidence fall a worry

Hon David Carter MP National Party Agriculture Spokesman

18 January 2006

Farmer confidence fall a worry

National Party Agriculture spokesman David Carter says the country should be concerned at the results of the latest survey of farmer confidence.

The Rabobank/AC Nielsen Rural Confidence Survey out today shows farmers in all sectors - sheep, beef, dairy and cropping - are becoming very pessimistic about the economy over the next 12 months.

Fifty nine per cent of farmers expect lower incomes this year and 77% expect input costs to increase, which would put the squeeze on farm profitability.

Mr Carter says he is not surprised by the survey results, which follow two other gloomy surveys of business confidence out this week, including the NZIER quarterly survey.

"The Government has taken farmers for granted for years and has continued to place significant costs and legislation onto the farming sector," says Mr Carter.

"Commodity prices are declining and costs are increasing, which is making profitability increasingly difficult to obtain.

"Farmers are facing tough times, particularly sheep farmers, with wool prices scraping the bottom of the barrel and a lamb schedule that is declining week after week."

Mr Carter says draconian Government legislation such as the Holidays Act, Employment Relations Act, ACC's monopolistic levy increases, and Health and Safety laws, have not helped.

ENDS

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