Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Federated Farmers welcome return to surplus

Federated Farmers welcome return to surplus

Federated Farmers welcomes the confirmation in today’s Budget of a return to surplus.

“The projected surplus for 2014/15 might be small but if achieved it will be a great milestone resulting from a lot of hard work,” says Federated Farmers’ President Bruce Wills.

“The achievement of a surplus should not be underestimated given the impact firstly of the Global Financial Crisis and then the devastating Canterbury Earthquakes.

“Most importantly for our economy, is to have a surplus combined with continued spending restraint to take the pressure off monetary policy and therefore interest rates and the New Zealand Dollar.

“A surplus also gives us some real choices for the first time in several years, choices which our friends across the Tasman would love to have in the wake of their own Budget.

“Repaying debt should be the most important priority, but providing the surpluses are enduring we can think about tax cuts or spending a little more. What room there is to move should be spent on things that will make the boat go faster like infrastructure, R&D, and building skills. We can also think about restoring contributions to the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. The Government is clearly thinking along similar lines and it’s no surprise that there is an emphasis on initiatives to help families.

“The primary sector should be well-placed to continue to drive the economy forward and we welcome the $40 million budgeted for irrigation investment, the increased funding for research and science, and $8.5 million more for agriculture tuition subsidies at tertiary institutions. It’s good to see initiatives that will advance the primary industry.

“In particular, we welcome the $20 million in funding for freshwater and environmental initiatives. The implementation of the National Policy Statement on Fresh Water Management will be all the better for the $12 million to help councils and communities in their decision making and implementation processes, and consequently the $3 million for the Ministry for the Environment to implement RMA reforms.

“Although dairy commodity prices are back off their earlier highs, commodity prices overall remain strong and with Asia continuing to grow and wanting our food. With the Budget looking to invest $69 million to expand New Zealand’s presence in China, South America and the Middle East, the outlook should be good.

“That’s not to say there aren’t any clouds on the horizon. As the Reserve Bank said yesterday, agricultural debt remains high albeit concentrated with 50 percent of dairy sector debt held by around 10 percent of dairy farmers. These farmers could suffer from a large drop in dairy pay-outs especially if there is also a drop in land values, which could then have wider impacts across farming as well as the economy as a whole.

“The Reserve Bank sees the fragilities in China’s financial system as a risk to commodity prices, which would impact on New Zealand. I agree with this assessment so it is doubly important that we do all we can as a country to ensure that we minimise the risk of policy own-goals.

“With the election silly-season upon us, I am worried about anti-farming ‘dog whistle’ rhetoric from some of our politicians and proposals from some parties for a capital gains tax, an extension of the ETS to agricultural biological emissions, and a ‘resource rentals’ tax on water.

“Most of all though we need promises from all parties for continued spending restraint, and not to blow the surpluses before they’ve arrived. To stay in the black we need to act like we’re in the red,” concluded Mr Wills.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Team Behind Trump's Throne

Forget the Putin factor. Daily, the team of charlatans, bigots and stunningly ignorant crackpots that Trump is appointing to head key federal agencies is just as alarming. These are positions with vast power and budgetary discretion over policies that stand to affect tens of millions of vulnerable Americans. Sad! More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English, Abroad

If David Cameron was the closest thing John Key had to a political mentor, their successors also share a whole lot in common. Theresa May and Bill English were both propelled into the top jobs as the result of unexpected resignations, and without much in the way of credible competition from their colleagues... More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Labour Bill To Override Safety Act For Mine Entry

“Bill English has been hiding behind the legal excuse that any attempt to re-enter the mine to recover the bodies might place the mine’s owner, Solid Energy Limited, and its directors in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Populism And Labour 2017

For many people on the centre-left, populism is a dirty word, and a shorthand for the politics of bigotry. In this country, it has tended to be equated with the angry legions of New Zealand First. Who knew they were not just a reactionary spasm, but the wave of the future? More>>

Oxfam: 30% Of NZ Owns Less Wealth Than Our Two Richest Men

The research also reveals that the richest one per cent have 20 per cent of the wealth in New Zealand, while 90 per cent of the population owns less than half of the nation’s wealth. The research forms part of a global report released to coincide with this week’s annual meeting of political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More>>

ALSO:

Hospitals: Resident Doctors Set To Strike Again

Despite discussions between the DHBs and NZRDA over safer hours for resident doctors progressing during the last week, the strike planned for next week appears set to proceed. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Super Fund: More Burning Ethical Questions For Steven Joyce

Greens: Radio New Zealand reported this morning that the New Zealand Superfund has $77 million invested in 47 coal companies that the Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund – the largest sovereign fund in the world – has blacklisted. More>>

Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Why Tax Cuts In 2017 Would Be A (Proven) Bad Idea

Ever since the world fell prey to the mullahs of the free market in the 1980s, no amount of real world evidence has managed dispel one key tenet of their economic faith. Namely, the idea that if you cut income taxes and taxes on small business, a wave of individual enterprise and entrepreneurial energy will thus be unleashed, profits will rise and – hey bingo! – the tax cuts will soon be paying for themselves ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news