Interest rates

  • David Carter
Associate Minister for Food, Fibre, Biosecurity and Border Control

A typical Canterbury dairy farmer is currently saving $61,847 in interest rate payments per year compared with a decade ago, based on figures released today.

Associate Food and Fibre Minister David Carter released the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry's latest farm monitoring figures for Canterbury showing interest paid in the 1998/1999 year.

"The figures show a typical Canterbury dairy farm paid $77,309 in interest payments. A typical Canterbury cropping farm paid $30,935 in interest payments and a hill country sheep and beef farm paid $18,475 in interest payments.

"For most New Zealand farmers, interest rates are their single highest cost," Mr Carter said.

"Under this Government interest rates have fallen about six percent. Based on a six percent fall in interest rates, a typical Canterbury dairy farm would be saving $61,847 annually in debt servicing. A Canterbury cropping farmers would be saving $24,748 and a hill country sheep and beef farmers, $14,780.

"These figures represent real savings for farmers. This is especially significant when Canterbury farmers have been hit so hard by droughts in the last two years," Mr Carter said.

"On National's tour of New Zealand's heartland one of the consistent messages coming from farmers is the importance of careful economic management by the Government," Mr Carter said.

Mr Carter said he was looking forward to joining National MP Eric Roy on Monday's stage of the heartland tour when the two MPs would meet with Canterbury farmers.