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Budget 07 recognises vital role of NZ's "Backbone"

Budget 07 recognises vital role of NZ's "Backbone"

Budget 07 recognises vital role of New Zealand's "backbone" Budget 07 continues the Labour-led Government's ongoing commitment to rural New Zealand, Rural Affairs Minister Damien O'Connor said today.

"This budget has a great deal to offer the rural sector," Mr O'Connor said.

"It includes significant investment for business, including farms and horticulture companies, backing the Labour-led Government's strongly-held view that New Zealand must lift its productivity.

"The budget also continues to invest in services to make sure that the engine of growth in the rural sector – the people who live there – enjoy a good quality of life."

The package includes:

A reduction in the company tax from 33 per cent to 30 per cent, allowing farms, horticulture companies and agri-businesses to keep more of their profits.

$630 million over four years on a tax credit for R & D to encourage greater innovation. $94 million over four years for market assistance to grow exports.

$53 million over four years to boost participation in industry training. $33 million over four years for developing greater links with Asia.

$67 million over four years to support innovation, including boosting private R & D into innovative foods, and beverages.

An extra $8 million on climate change research, and $12 million on Pastoral 21, which will benefit agriculture and sustainability.

$37 million for improved biosecurity measures at the border.

"Of course, for our primary industries to prosper and grow, New Zealanders have to continue to want to live in rural areas, So, ensuring we have quality services outside of the main centres is vital. This budget recognises that," Mr O'Connor said.

Investment in services now and in the future include:

$1.6 billion over four years tax credit to match KiwiSaver member contributions (of up to $1040 per year) to fund a higher living standard in retirement.

An extra $3 billion our four years to the health sector.

$238.3 million capital funding for school property, including 14 new schools and 180 new classrooms.

$133.4 million for 700 extra Year 1 teachers, to bring teacher-student ratios down to 1:18.

A four per cent increase in school operational funding.

"Farming and horticulture production are fundamental to New Zealand – they form the country's backbone. This budget continues the Labour-led Government's commitment to ensure they remain so long into the future."


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