Federated Farmers Asks, The Government Listens
When Federated Farmers Asks, The Government Listens
The Prime Minister’s 2010 statement to Parliament today shows John Key has been listening to Federated Farmers prescription to grow the economy.
“New Zealand can pass Australia because we have the water and they don’t,” says Don Nicolson, President of Federated Farmers.
“While there’s no numbers in the Prime Minister’s speech, Federated Farmers’ intense lobbying on water storage has water firmly on the National Infrastructure Unit’s work programme.
“Water is to our economy what minerals are to Australia’s. Harnessing water to grow grass and crops that would otherwise run out to sea is economically transformational.
“Federated Farmers is extremely pleased the Government has listened to us in ruling out both a Land Tax and a comprehensive Capital Gains Tax. The ambition to reduce tax rates is great and the Federation would have few issues if the Government decided to act on the taxation of investment property as well as looking to increase GST to 15 percent.
“Yet there is a pressing need to rein in a bloated Government and avoiding substantial reform to Working for Families is a missed opportunity.
“One area we’re excited to hear about is a possible increase in public funding for research and development (R&D). This is about growing the economy that reduces the need for big Government. Federated Farmers wants the major political parties to sign-on to a three percent R&D spend by 2029
“Federated Farmers also welcomes the Government standing up to the shrill and hysterical mining opponents. It’s estimated New Zealand has $140 billion of on-land mineral reserves and over half a trillion dollars worth in our territorial waters.
“Minerals will jump start the New Zealand economy but long-term progress will be made by unleashing the nation’s farmers, horticulturalists, wine makers, fishers and foresters.
“To that end, we look forward to seeing proposals to potentially amend the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act 2001 and we fully support our farming colleagues in aquaculture seeking to get ‘go forward’ for an important economic generator.
“In many ways, it may be time to look at reform of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry by looking to create an Agriculture Agency that will take over the doing function to drive infrastructural needs forward.
“That’s not just to drive and deliver water storage infrastructure but rural broadband, too. I’m pleased to see the Prime Minister acknowledge the need for further investment in rural broadband as over one million Kiwis lack parity with their urban cousins.
“While the devil will be in the budget, at least we see strategic issues of importance to the economy’s engine room being given prominence by the Government,” Mr Nicolson concluded.