Thursday, May 18, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Additional taxes for farmers are a feature of the Federal Budget which was released last week and Federal Member for Dawson, Andrew Willcox, says Australia’s agricultural producers deserve a help-up not a set-back.
He believes the May Budget has been used as a platform to unveil an array of new taxes, which will create extra expenses for Australian farmers.
One of these is the new ‘bio-security levy’ which is set at a rate equivalent to 10 per cent of the 2020-21 industry-led agricultural levies.
Willcox calls this the ‘Fresh Food Tax’ and asserts that it is charging Aussie farmers to quality-check international importers’ goods.
“The Labor Government are charging Aussie farmers to make it easier for competitors to import their goods here. It’s charging farmers to quality-check their competition”, Mr. Willcox said.
“If an overseas importer hasn’t secured the safety of their product, the Government shouldn’t be punishing our primary producers for this.”
It is expected that this new levy will raise $153 million over three years and that it will fund increased bio-security measures.
Another tax that will impact local producers is the ‘Truckie Tax’ which is set to increase truckies’ diesel prices from 27.2 cents to 32.4 cents per litre.
This will then snowball into the price of transporting goods around the country and the price of products on the supermarket shelves.
“Labor is aiming to increase the road user charge by approximately 19 per cent over three years, making it that much more expensive to get produce from paddock to plate,” said Willcox.
“This will increase the price for both our farmers and the customers at the checkout.
“This isn’t fiscal management; this is daylight robbery.”
Additionally, the average energy bills for businesses, which includes farmers, are set to increase by around $1,700.
“What’s the incentive for our farmers to keep feeding our nation?” said Willcox.
“They’re paying through their teeth to operate, energy prices are through the roof, and all the Government can do is slog them with a raft of brand-new taxes.”
“Without food and fibre, the country starves and under the current rising cost of living crisis now is not the time to add more pressure on grocery and retail prices.
“I am urging Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to come and visit Dawson and see firsthand where his food comes from.”
Federal Member for Dawson, Andrew Willcox, is concerned about how new taxes will impact farmers. Photo supplied