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Budget provides a boost for primary industries

Budget provides a boost for primary industries

Budget provides a boost for primary industries Today’s Budget will give New Zealand’s most important industries a boost to encourage investment and innovation, said the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Jim Anderton.

“Today’s budget is about addressing the imbalances in the New Zealand economy that have resulted in an over-valuing of the exchange rate, which is kneecapping our exporters. These imbalances have included a lack of savings, dramatically increasing our dependence on foreign capital to fund the property boom, which in turn has driven up the dollar. We have also had a lack of investment in productive industries due to incentives to speculate on property, rather than in the engine-room of the economy," Jim Anderton said.

“The business tax package, the enhancements to Kiwisaver, and various direct investments by the Labour-Progressive Government will go a long way to transforming the economy into one that is more sustainable. This will not happen overnight and will ultimately depend on investment by New Zealanders, but thanks to this Budget the investment environment has never been better.

“With record dairy prices, dairy farmers and processors will benefit from the reduction in company tax from 33 percent to 30 percent. The best thing that could happen for New Zealand is that windfalls arising from this, along with tax incentives for research and development, are invested back into businesses to grow production, add value and expand markets.

“A further imbalance in the economy has been our trade deficit, as exports have not grown as a share of GDP in the last two decades. New Zealand needs to lift export performance and this Budget will help with $87 million for export market development, for which the primary sectors will be major beneficiaries. This investment will be complemented by the Primary Industries Summit, to be held in November, that will identify emerging international threats and opportunities and help keep the backbone of our economy strong.

“The New Zealand economy was largely built on science and innovation in the primary sector so I am pleased we will be able to build on this with tax incentives for research and development. As well as $12 million over four years to bolster the work of the Pastoral 21 research consortium, which comes on top of $15 million provided in last year’s Budget.

“The environmental sustainability of our primary sectors is increasingly critical to meet the expectations of consumers and to safeguard our resources for future generations. The Budget provides funding of $8 million over four years for research in the area of sustainable primary production and will fund environmental certification for fisheries exports. An extra $37 million is being invested in Biosecurity to safeguard our economy and environment from pests and disease.

“The Budget also includes $10 million to combat hill country erosion and $2.3 million to fund local capacity to deal with adverse events, both aimed at future proofing the rural sector from natural disasters and climate change.

“The Labour-Progressive Government supports the primary sectors as the cornerstone of our economy. This budget has been significant for the primary sector on a broad range of fronts. The key to our future prosperity is in innovation, added value and sustainability across the primary industries and this Budget makes a significant contribution to this," Jim Anderton said.

ends

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