Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor confirmed in Parliament’s Question Time today that farmers will face ‘additional costs’ under his Government, National’s Agriculture Spokesperson Nathan Guy says.

“Mr O’Connor has previously signalled a climate tax for farmers, slashed the Primary Growth Partnership fund and won’t fund any new water storage projects,” Mr Guy says.

“This is on top of the Government’s other policies that are already adding thousands of dollars a year in costs to Kiwi households through cancelled tax cuts, higher rents, slower GDP growth and the cost of fuel.

“Mr O’Connor has already stated being the ‘friend of the farmer’ isn’t necessarily his Government’s objective and therefore he should be upfront with farmers and outline what extra costs he’s anticipating.

“The Minister’s $500,000-a-year Primary Sector Advisory Council should be focused on keeping a lid on these creeping costs rather than having a strategy talkfest.

“Meanwhile, the Rural Proofing policy announced at Fieldays hasn’t even begun and isn’t mandatory for Government departments to adopt.

“Rural Proofing is only for guidance and will easily be ignored by bureaucrats at a time when farmers are petrified of costs coming out of the Beehive.

“It seems the Primary sector – which is New Zealand’s biggest export earner – turns out to be the biggest loser under this Government. The Primary Sector is being punished by this Government’s policies and farmers have every right to be in fear.”

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