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Budget Does Little To Boost Competitiveness

Federated Farmers: Budget Does Little To Boost Competitiveness

"A scattering of handouts in the budget is no substitute for sound economic polices aimed at improving New Zealand's international competitiveness," said Federated Farmers President Alistair Polson.

"For a small isolated country like New Zealand to compete internationally we need to retain our most productive people and companies in New Zealand. Tax levels and regulatory burdens must be lowered otherwise New Zealand's international competitiveness will slip away further."

"New Zealand's tax burden is still far higher than many of its major trading partners. This Government has bucked the international trend over recent times by raising tax levels, rather than lowering tax burdens on the productive sector."

Mr Polson questioned the government's policy of adopting a dedicated superannuation fund.

"The fund, to be paid out of budget surpluses is not cost free. It will be paid for out of higher taxation than would otherwise be necessary. As we told the Committee dealing with the Bill, logic would point to reducing public debt before committing to an acceptable superannuation plan. It is a concept that all rational homeowners with mortgages subscribe to."

Mr Polson acknowledged that there were aspects of the Budget that showed the government is coming to grips with the importance of the agricultural sector to the New Zealand economy.

"The government's initiatives in areas such as strengthening bio-security, increased funding for TB, and boosting the collection of agricultural and horticultural statistics are all welcome initiatives. A stand-alone food authority was also welcome, but Federated Farmers will be looking to see that appropriate funding is made available."

"Extra funding for Trade New Zealand will also help develop and expand New Zealand's export trade and relationships with the rest of the world," said Mr Polson.


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