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Lower food prices will help our products to knock out imports

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B rticfIjoyo Deputy Leader, National Party of Australia

Shadow Minister for Primary Industry

Media Ph: 06/2774193



The price of basic food items will fall, providing more competition against imports with the new recession busting version of Fightback, according to National Party Deputy Leader and Shadow Minister for Primary Industry, Bruce Lloyd.

Mr Lloyd said the drop in price will come about because there will be no GST on food and fuel excise, payroll tax and wholesale sales tax will be abolished.

"These measures will help our food processors win back the supermarket shelves from imports and thereby create more jobs for Australians," Mr Lloyd said.

He said most people are not aware of the hidden tax they already pay on supposedly tax free food, but the Treasury Department's critique of Fightback shows that a combination of payroll tax, fuel excise and the current wholesale sales tax actually adds an average of more than five per cent to the price of food.

"The figures show that on average 2.81 per cent of the final price is needed to cover the cost of the wholesale sales tax, 1.42 per cent for fuel excise and 0.98 per cent for payroll tax. A total of 5.21 per cent.

"This transfers to a hidden tax on our food exports, and by zero rating exports this tax will be removed, saving farmers and food processors $500 to $600 million in costs and removing the current advantage New Zealand and other GST or VAT countries have over our producers in both the

Australian and overseas markets.

"The Coalition will even remove the Labor Government's unfair 10 per cent wholesale sales tax on pure fruit juice and not subject it to GST."

Dr Hewson's statement also included a generous, simplified and

accelerated plant and equipment depreciation regime to encourage investment in better farm and food processing technology.

"Not only will the new depreciation rates apply to new but also to

existing machinery, and this will be a great incentive to farmers and processors to transfer from the slow existing schedules to the new, with a resulting boost in cash flow. .

"Furthermore the full year depreciation will apply irrespective of when the equipment is purchased."

"These measures will assist our producers to improve efficiency and quality control, to export more and win the battle against imports.

Mr Lloyd said other Coalition policies already announced of requiring imported food to be adequately labelled and of the same pure food

standards as domestic, and of a tougher and quicker anti-dumping and countervailing policy, will also help our food producers.



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