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Primary industry assistance down $98 million



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B ruch Li.ογρ M fdta

Deputy Leader, National Party of Australia

Shadow Minister for Primary Industry

Ph: 06/2774193

Fax:06/2772053

PRIMARY INDUSTRY ASSISTANCE DOWN $98 MILLION

Apart from a slight improvement in Income Equalisation Deposits there is nothing in the Budget for farmers and there is no long-term strategy to improve farm viability, according to National Party Deputy Leader and Shadow Minister for Primary Industry, Bruce Lloyd.

Mr Lloyd said the Budget is merely designed to get through the next election.

"While the Budget shows that $1760 million will be spent on primary industry, the industries themselves will contribute $774 million in charges and levies and $438 million is the rebate on diesel fuel.

"This means the actual Government spending on total primary industry will only be $551.7 million. This is down $97.8 million on what the Government contributed in the last financial year, despite many farmers still suffering the same degree of negative incomes.

"Tobacco growers will be particularly hard hit by a $5 a kg increase in tobacco excise which will yield the Government an additional $80 million.

Mr Lloyd said the only good news, was that farmers, if they have any money, can now deposit as little as $1000 in the IED scheme and receive interest on 80 per cent of it instead of 61 per cent.

"However they will still have to pay a withholding tax of 29 per cent when drawing it out despite the fact that they will have already paid provisional tax.

"Thanks to the Opposition and farmer groups the Government has backed down on its proposed alterations to research funding.

Mr Lloyd said having created the unemployment by refusing to undertake reforms to cut business costs, the Government would now spend $252 million this year on regional unemployment schemes and had been forced to match the Coalition's promise of a 25 per cent increase in the remote

area zone allowance.

He said the Budget deficit would just mean that sometime in the future every Australian worker would have to pay another $2000 in tax.

"It's a case of buying some votes now and leaving the taxpayers of

Australia to pick up the bill. It can only mean an eventual increase in taxes, and a possible more immediate increase in interest rates, fuel excise etc.

"Income tax and sales tax will eventually increase, placing even greater burdens on industry, leading to more farm and regional business failures and a further loss in jobs.

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"Already the Government has had to change certain sections of its new sales tax bill to ensure that farm machinery dealers are not put out of business with a 20 per cent tax but the legislation will still put a 20 per cent sales tax on bogey-drive grain trucks.”

Mr Lloyd said the Government's Landcare and natural resources projected budget increase to $74 million hid the fact that the Government only spent $60 million instead of the $71 million promised in last year's budget.

"The projected deficit last year was $4.7 billion but the actual deficit was $9.93 billion. This year the projected figure is $13.4 billion, the actual amount is anyone's guess."

Mr Lloyd said there is no way the Government's "One Nation" promise of tax cuts can be achieved.

"Like his budget which would "bring home the bacon" and the many

"beautiful sets of numbers" the promised tax cuts are the ravings of a Government out of control.

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end 18/8/92