Around 11,000 people whose working visas are set to expire over the 2020/21 season have been granted a new visa.
He says the Government’s claim of ‘rebuilding better’ is nothing but a meaningless slogan for the primary sector. Muller says costly Government proposals like Essential Freshwater are still on the way, there’s no large-scale water storage funding and not enough support to secure the 50,000 workers needed to stimulate the sector.
“Covid-19 has thrown our country into a deep economic hole and we’re now relying on our food and fibre sector to get out of it. We should be encouraging this sector to grow and maximise its potential but funding has gone backwards. With farmers and growers across the country experiencing the worst drought in living memory this season, it’s disappointing to see no significant investment in water storage,” he says.
Muller says if we are going to be borrowing large sums of money that will need to be repaid by future generations of New Zealanders then that is the sort of strategic infrastructure we should be implementing.
“With $140 billion of debt being accumulated today there’s a good chance that there will be more taxes in the pipeline to cover the cost. And we all know the primary sector is one of the Government’s favourite cash cows,” he says.
Muller says to ensure our economic recovery the Government should be investing in and encouraging the sector that is paying the bills to grow.”