INDEPENDENT NEWS

What Dairyowners Want From Budget 2024

Published: Thu 30 May 2024 09:49 AM
Dairy owners are pinning big hopes Budget 2024 will deliver inroads into the retail crime emergency, reduce inflation and improve access to wholesale groceries that’ll make the sector much more competitive with cheaper prices for customers.
“There’s been plenty of good stuff come out of the Coalition but now is the time to deliver,” says Sunny Kaushal, Chair of the Dairy and Business Owners Group Incorporated.
“What we’re looking towards are things that will improve security in terms of better access to goods, a safer environment for us to sell into and people to shop as well as providing a future for sector that underpins small communities and large.
“With some exceptions, the previous government showed disdain towards small businesses like us, despite us being there throughout Covid-19.
The loss of retailers like Kirkaldie & Stains in Wellington and now Smith & Caughey on Queen Street it looks like, is a wakeup call. It’s not just the crime and begging that turns off shoppers, but anti-car polices that make it so hard to shop in town but really easy at a Westfield.
“The Coalition gives us hope, but with crime especially, we’re keeping a close eye to ensure the rubber hits the road,”Mr Kaushal said.
What we’d want to see come out of Budget 2024:
100% depreciation for security systems and matching Australia’s small business tax rate:
Change depreciation to enable dairies, liquor stores, service stations and all retailers to invest in better security.
We’d like to see security systems have 100% depreciation instead of taking years to depreciate. That’s a huge incentive to invest and upgrade vital systems.
And to encourage small businesses to stay in NZ, since small business is the backbone of the economy, we’d like to see the Coalition Government match Australia’s 25% rate for small to medium sized businesses. This would generate economic growth.
Get inflation under control and stop the loss of vital carparking to cycleways
We have to stop a tax and spend mentality that has spiked inflation after huge spending over the past 6 years - a 102% increase in government debt from $111m in 2017, to $226m in 2023.
The Budget should not fund cycleways that involve the loss of carparks outside dairies and local stores, especially in suburban areas like what Wellington is doing.
Public transport yes, but cycleways kill local shops and only benefit supermarkets who have big carparks.
Tackle the retail crime emergency gutting towns and cities of retailers:
Give businesses affected by crime a real voice in police, justice and transport policy by involving dairies, retailers service stations, and farmers etc.
Return active policing to central city and suburban areas by funding Police Stations and Police Authorised Officers to undertake beat patrols. An Auckland CBD police station is a must.
A major boost to smart CCTV and street lighting.
Amend the Crimes Act to give the law-abiding better tools:
(i) repeal the “day-time bar” to allow ‘citizen’s arrest’ by shopkeepers and security guards between 6am and 9pm; and
(ii) Define reasonable force in defence of property as being “less than really serious harm.”
Enforce a sense of self-responsibility:
(i) Make sure Three-Strikes reform is just that and not “no-strikes”" it risks becoming;
(ii) Get at risk youth back on the straight and narrow by intervening into families where youth crime screams attention; and
(iii) Ban begging by making it an offence in the Summary Offences Actthat’ll enable Courts better tools to direct those in need into rehabilitation or care.
Get the Grocery Commissioner to create open access agreements into the supermarket duopoly’s distribution centres to create real grocery competition:
The distribution centres are the powerhouse of the supermarket duopoly and despite trying to get access they remain a closed shop.
We want to see the Grocery Commissioner empowered to develop “Open Access” arrangement like what’s coming with banking and what’s been normal in telecoms.
This would enable wholesalers and larger independent stores to access goods more or less on even terms as the two big supermarkets. This would allow not just dairies to get a better deal, but new entrants too.
Help us to transition out of selling smokes while remaining in business:
Being able to compete on groceries and other goods helps dairies to transition out of selling smoked tobacco. This is why grocery reform at wholesale is so important.
We also want to make a massive dent in the 280,000 kiwis who smoke daily by being allowed to actively promote to smokers, whenever they ask for cigarettes, the three flavours of vapes and smokeless tobacco we sell as General Vape Retailers, those being mint, menthol and tobacco.
The Coalition needs to be congratulated for being realistic as New Zealand is streets ahead of where the last government had predicted in 2021. We are miles ahead of Australia with some of the lowest daily smoking rates in the World.
Youth vaping turned a corner last year with ASH data showing regular youth vaping has fallen for two years running and is 18% down since 2021. Even daily youth vaping dipped slightly for the first time.
The Coalition is promising crippling fines for those who sell to minors, and we back that. It’s because we responsible sellers. In 2023 dairies were 92% compliant selling ‘regulated products’ and our median compliance since 2019 and after 3,405 inspections, is 93%.

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