Labor welcomes the Government's back down on its Budget night announcement that it would provide tax deductions on capital expenditure for farmers, but not until 2017.

Promising farmers suffering their third year of drought assistance in two years’ time was an insult to them and their families.

The Government's drought policy has been one debacle after another: 

• Concessional loans farmers can't get or don't want which cost the Government between 2 per cent and 3 per cent but are lent to farmers at between 3 per cent and 4 per cent.

• Money taken from some drought affected states to pay others.

• Water grants massively underfunded and oversubscribed.

• Council grants yet to be detailed but dwarfed by cuts to the same councils’ Financial Assistance Grants.

Today's back-down is another example of Barnaby Joyce failure to understand of what farmers need and are indeed calling for.

In the Minister’s own media release on Budget he stated that:

“Drought preparedness was a key priority identified as part of the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper process and these accelerated depreciation measures will create an incentive for farmers to undertake on-farm preparedness activities and increase productivity.”

Yet this rhetoric was not matched until today.

Sadly though, farmers and industry have seen this lack of policy detail from Barnaby before when he chose to embellished his answer on the effectiveness of the Drought Concessional Loans and Farm Household Allowance during Question Time on Monday, 20 October 2014.

This instigated a chain of events that saw a cover-up of his incompetence and the sacking of Dr Grimes.

Many farmers will continue to shake their heads in disbelief.


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