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Agriculture misses out in Budget

Agriculture misses out in Budget

The National Government failed to recognise let alone assist Agriculture or the other primary industries in this weeks budget announcements, said Damien O'Connor, Labour's Associate Agriculture spokesperson.

"Agriculture was not mentioned once in the Budget speech and there was only incidental reference to exporters," Damien O'Connor said.

"The Budget was all about giving a bigger slice of the cake to the wealthy, not growing the cake for all New Zealanders.

"Last year's cuts to the Biosecurity budget and frontline staff were not reinstated despite a brighter outlook for the economy and inevitable pressure of unwanted organisms from rising imports at the border.

"Instead we got cuts through David Carter's collaboration between border agencies, which will tilt money away from scrutiny of imports and passengers at our borders.

"The increase in GST will add costs right across the farming sectors, driving up inflation, interest rates and inevitably the value of the NZ dollar. National made no changes to monetary policy to curb the harm such movements in the dollar have on our export sectors.

"Providing the largest tax cuts for people earning over $70,000 will offer little benefit to farmers and horticulturalists who in recent years have struggled to make profits and will have to reinvest back into their productive businesses.

"The removal of depreciation allowances on plant and equipment will further reduce our ability to lift productivity across the sectors.

"Money was reshuffled through the Ministry of Agriculture without any new initiatives to grow the productive economy.

"John Key has focused on shifting around some money to the benefit of those who often produce the least.

"There will be many angry and disappointed New Zealanders who feel the rural sector was completely ignored in the Budget," Damien O'Connor said.

ENDS

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