OPINION: It's a sad state of affairs when the President of Federated Farmers is forced to take a swipe at policy wonks in Wellington for their failure to understand one of the pillars of the NZ economy - agriculture.
“We support this package as being decisive and pragmatic,” says Federated Farmers President Katie Milne.
“Coming on top of the Reserve Bank’s similar response yesterday, New Zealand has in the past two days delivered a big stimulus, and quickly.”
“The Government has clearly decided that rather than give everyone a bit of extra money, to instead throw the kitchen sink at those most directly affected, and our most vulnerable people in the hope this will contain the impact on the wider economy.”
Milne says the package’s recognition of the vulnerability of small businesses was pleasing.
“There are a large number of small tourism and family businesses that rely on passing tourists in our rural communities, and they are already hurting.
“These businesses and their staff are in our rural communities and we stand by them.”
Milne also applauds the packages support for small businesses and employees that cannot operate from home.
“It’s also great that the needs of small businesses that cannot operate from home, and whose employees cannot work from home have been targeted for assistance - these people and businesses are the backbone of our rural, provincial, and urban communities alike.”
Federated farmers says the tax changes announced in the package will be useful for businesses in weathering the pandemic.
The tax changes include the reinstatement of depreciation deductions for commercial and industrial buildings, increasing the threshold for provisional tax, waiving interest on some late tax payments, and immediate deductions for low value assets.
However, there’s still some areas Federated Farmers want the Government to offer support on.
“We would like to see some commitment around prolonging the visas of migrant workers in New Zealand, to ensure that our primary producers can continue to produce,” says Milne.