Barnaby Joyce is today boasting of an additional $40 million allocation to drought affected farmers in Queensland and New South Wales.
The truth is that the Minister is only putting back the $40 million he took from Labor’s original concessional loans scheme soon after the election.
Withholding the $40 million allowed the allocation to be accounted for in the 2014/15 financial year, effectively putting Joe Hockey's budget obsession ahead of the needs of desperate farming families.
Barnaby Joyce now needs to account for another $40 million – the money he didn't spend last financial year under the Abbott Government’s $280 million drought concessional loans scheme announced in February. Rural Australia needs a commitment that the second $40 million will not go back to Treasury coffers.
Farming families should not have to pay for the Minister’s inability to implement the drought concessional loans scheme in a timely way.