Primary industry “gave the finger” to attempts to overhaul the original NAIT scheme, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says.
Guy says this is despite the Government insisting that Biosecurity is underfunded prior to the budget announcement.
“Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced a paltry increase of just $9.3 million for Biosecurity which is half of what National invested in Budget17 at $18.4 million.
“This is a 50% reduction and makes a mockery of the Government’s recent rhetoric.
“If they truly believed in what they’ve been saying lately, they could have injected hundreds of millions of dollars into further strengthening the Biosecurity system - but in yesterday’s Budget they showed this isn’t really a priority.”
Guy points out that farmers and growers haven’t forgotten Labour and NZ First’s track record on Biosecurity – “they voted against National’s border clearance levy a few years ago – which has proved a great success in generating more funding for Biosecurity”.
“Ironically, it seems the Primary sector – which is New Zealand’s biggest export earner – turns out to be the Budget’s biggest loser,” Guy says.