Wednesday, 10 May 2017 10:36

Budget slugs farmers for visas

Written by 
Scott Morrison Scott Morrison

Dairy farmers employing staff on visas will have to contribute upfront costs under changes announced in last night’s Federal Budget.

Businesses with turnover of less than $10 million will be required to make upfront payments of $1200 for temporary skill shortage visas (to replace the 457 visa) and $3000 for employees on permanent work visas.

Australian Dairy Farmers CEO, John McQueen, say the increase in fees for foreign workers will be detrimental to the dairy industry.

“We believe the fee increase will place an even greater burden on farmers who have had to rely on skilled migration to bolster their workforce due to critical labour shortages in many dairy regions,” Mr McQueen said.

In moves that will assist farmers, the Government has extended the instant asset write off scheme for 12 months.

Under the scheme, businesses with a turnover of less than $10 million will be eligible for accelerated depreciation arrangements for assets valued at less than $20,000 until 30 June 2018.

The Government has extended eligibility for the Farm Business Concessional Loans Scheme.

Farmers and their partners who have received their full entitlement for Farm Household Allowance will be eligible for loans up to 50% of their debt position for refinancing purposes.

$86.3 million has also been budgeted over four years to improve gas regulation and supply.

The Government has also provided funding for the development of the commodity milk price index.

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