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

2040 Target And Lower Standards: “Swimmable” Rivers Five Times More Likely To Make You Sick

Forest & Bird has condemned the government’s new water quality standards, warning New Zealanders that they lock in current levels of water pollution and allow for a 5-fold increase in the chance of getting sick from swimming in a river.

“Despite an explicit assurance from Minister Smith that the new water standards would provide for human and ecosystem health, he has failed to deliver on either of these things,” says Forest & Bird CEO Kevin Hague. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Immigration: Clampdown On Rogue Employers Good First Step

The Human Trafficking Research Coalition is pleased at the new clampdown on rouge employers who exploit migrants announced by Minister Woodhouse this morning, and believes this is a step in the right direction. More>>

ALSO:

Mayor: 750 New Social And Affordable Homes For Wellington (Over A Decade)

The next stage of Wellington’s Housing Upgrade Programme will see at least 750 new units of social and affordable housing built over the next decade, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

22/2: Christchurch Quake Memorial Unveiled

A city, a region, a nation and an international community impacted by the Canterbury Earthquakes will come together to mark the sixth anniversary of the deadly quake and dedicate Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial. More>>

ALSO:


November Quakes:

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics. More>>

ALSO:

Private Provision: First Social Bond To Focus On Mental Health

New Zealand’s first social bond will help around 1700 people with mental illness into work, Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Social Investment Minister Amy Adams say. More>>

ALSO:

Immigration: Short Reprieve For Nine Indian Students

A temporary hold on deportations of nine Indian students is a step in the right direction but the Government urgently needs to implement safeguards to stop further injustices to more international students, the Green Party says. More>>

EARLIER:


Megaupload Case: High Court Rules Dotcom, Co-Accused Eligible For Extradion

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and his three co-accused are eligible for extradition to the United States, New Zealand's High Court ruled... Justice Murray Gilbert upheld a decision by the District Court that there were grounds for Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato to be extradited. More>>

ALSO:

PREVIOUSLY:

Port Hills Fire: Midday Update, Monday 20 February

• 9 homes destroyed
• 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
• 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news